• WINNERS OF SAINT VINCENT COLLEGE’S REV. DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. POETRY COMPETITION ANNOUNCED

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    February 22, 2021
    LATROBE, PA – The winners of Saint Vincent College’s 2021 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Poetry Competition have been announced, with junior English major Isabel Sicree’s composition, entitled “Baptism by Fire,” taking first-place honors.
     
    Sicree, a native of Boalsburg, recited her poem following a Feb. 12 virtual presentation by award-winning creative professional, producer, columnist and author Ryan Bomberger as part of Saint Vincent College’s commemoration of Rev. Dr. King’s birthday.
     
    Nicole Fratrich, senior English major from Seward, placed second with her poem “Heart Matters,” while “Be Bold and Believe,” by Elizabeth Elin, sophomore theology and biology double major from Terrace Park, Ohio, placed third.
     
    The theme of the 2021 poetry competition was “our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter,” derived from a March 1965 sermon given by Rev. Dr. King in Selma, Alabama, after the brutal “Bloody Sunday” attack in which civil rights protesters were beaten and 26-year-old activist Jimmie Lee Johnson was shot by police.
     
    “All of the winning poems came at this theme from deeply inward, as well as outwardly conscious, angles,” said Michelle Gil-Montero, professor of English. “Isabel’s first-place poem captures much of the urgency of King’s statement. Its precise subject is elusive – we never know what injustice has faced the speaker’s family – but the situation is clear: judgement and prejudice threaten to erase, to ‘invalidate’ them, and the words in this poem counter that threat.
     
    “When the poem ends on the very question of ‘existence,’ we realize this battle is a matter of life and death. Words, poems, just as King implied in his sermon, are life blood.”
     
    This marked the sixth annual Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Poetry Competition at Saint Vincent College. Co-sponsored by the College’s Department of English and the Office of Student and Multicultural Life, the contest is designed to recognize and encourage student writing of multicultural poetry while spreading awareness and understanding of King’s vision.

     
     
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