GCC Celebrates National Poetry Month with Annual Contest

Five Students Recognized, Including the Mother of an Alumna

Batavia, New York – With poems that address feelings and fears, seasons and spiders, five student writers collected top honors in the 13th Annual Student Poetry Contest sponsored by the Alfred C. O’Connell Library at Genesee Community College. All five were recognized at a reception and poetry reading in the library on Thursday, April 24, 2014.

Laura Neri, who won third prize in last year’s contest, received the Body of Work award this year for her poems “Monsters,” “My Lady G,” and “The Conception of the Word.” Neri is an Accounting major who states “I write when I am compelled to.” She is a part-time student and mother who also works full-time. She attends GCC primarily at the Arcade Campus Center.

Margaret Aubel earned first place with her poem “The Snowflake” for which she “was inspired by my own struggle with grief and depression after my father passed away in 2006.” Aubel has a Bachelor’s Degree in Visual Effects and Motion Graphics. She’s now majoring in Computerized Drafting and Design and considers herself “a multifaceted artist starting over in life.”

Poetry runs in the family for second place winner Gail Reino. Her daughter, Leah, a 2011 GCC graduate now preparing to pursue her Ph.D. at the University of Rochester, is a past poetry contest winner. Of her poem “The Spider,” Gail said “I was motivated to write this poem because of a personal essay that I wrote this past semester.” She is taking two courses as she prepares to pursue a Master’s Degree in Higher Education Administration.

Kaitlyn James started writing when she was just 6, and at age 10 her work was published in a Children’s Anthology of Poetry. She wrote “Midsummer Night,” which won third place in the contest, when she was 15. “It wasn’t really inspired by anything in particular,” she said, “other than my love for nature, and of course, like any student, summer.” Kaitlyn is an education major and hopes to become an elementary English teacher.

Her ode to her mechanic in the poem, “’69 Camaro” earned Kathleen MacEwan recognition for the Most Humorous poem. MacEwan plans to enter the Pharmacy program at D’youville College this fall and is taking classes in preparation.

Each poet received a certificate, a journal to continue their writing, a flash drive pen, a poetry anthology courtesy of the Literary Club and a gift card.

More than 50 poems were submitted. An eight-member panel of judges selected the winners. All of the winning poems and a photograph of their writers can be found on the library’s website http://www.genesee.edu/library/about-the-library/poetry-contests/.

For more information, contact Cindy Hagelberger, Reference Services Librarian (585) 343-0055 ext. 6231 or via email: CSHagelberger@genesee.edu.

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