GCC Annual Poetry Contest Awards Five Students

Poets representing a wide range of student interests and backgrounds submitted their best work in the 11th Annual Student Poetry Contest sponsored by the Alfred C. O'Connell Library at Genesee Community College, and five of the students will be rewarded for their inspiring works, including two students previously lauded for their creativity.

Batavia, New York - Poets representing a wide range of student interests and backgrounds submitted their best work in the 11th Annual Student Poetry Contest sponsored by the Alfred C. O’Connell Library at Genesee Community College, and five of the students will be rewarded for their inspiring works, including two students previously lauded for their creativity.

A total of 52 poems were submitted by 22 students, whose hometowns range from the local region, to as far as the Bronx, and who attend classes at GCC’s Batavia, Arcade, Albion, Dansville and Warsaw campus centers. They will be honored during an awards ceremony in the library on Thursday, April 26, 2012 at 1:00pm.

First place was earned by Accelerated College Enrollment (ACE) student Autumn Piletz of Bergen for “Thomas Bixton, 1888-1921 A Man Who.” Among authors she credits with inspiring her are J.R.R. Tolkien and F. Scott Fitzgerald, and she hopes to pursue a career as a writer and author.

Teacher Transfer major Melissa Fuchs of Oakfield garnered second place for “Runaway Train” and Corfu’s Paul Lane was named third place winner for “If I Was a Flower”. Two previous award winners also captured the judge’s approval this year. Laura Neri, a Machias mother of two who is working toward completing an accounting degree at the Arcade campus, was awarded the Body of Work prize for three poems: “Flee,” “Skin Deep,” and “Moonlit Summer.” Nursing student and mom Leanne Serrato of Albion is also a repeat winner, this time earning a special Librarian’s Choice award for “Alphabet Poem.”

Each poet will receive a certificate, a journal to continue their writing, a copy of Poetry, and a prize donated by a local business or campus organization, including The Red Osier Landmark Restaurant, Genesee Country Village and Museum, Darien Lake Theme Park, GCC College Bookstore and AVI Foodsystems.

For more information, contact Donna Rae Sutherland, Associate Director of Marketing Communications at GCC: (585) 343-0055 ext. 6616 or via email: dsutherland@genesee.edu.


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Editor’s Note:
Below is the first-place-winning poem:

“Thomas Bixton, 1888-1921 A Man Who”
by Autumn Piletz

and the rest of the words
that cover, the last ashen tombstone
in the cemetery
surrounded by a broken, molding fence
down my quiet country road
have decayed under the pressure of
time.
Oh, Thomas Bixton,
by my calculations I can see
your immortal soul
was removed
at 33.
How young.
“Thomas Bixton,”
your name passes through my lips into the air
which is much alive, unlike you.
This garden of emptiness
has heard a name
that hasn’t been spoken in
decades.
I wonder if your children
(if you had any that is)
were sad you
died.
Or, perhaps
they were glad because you were an abusive drunkard
and that’s why you died so young.
Perhaps you were the ugliest man
any woman had seen
and could never be loved by the shallow
so long that you became depressed and committed suicide.
Maybe you were an appealing spirit
and won the secret affections of many women.
So many, in fact, that jealousy overcame them
and they took their revenge.
I look at all that is left of you,
Thomas Bixton
and all that is left is the
silence-
of you and me.
and here be
your elegy.
 

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