While much of the province’s literary community was toasting this year’s Winterset winner, Memorial University was honouring emerging poets on Thursday afternoon at its Gregory J. Power Poetry Awards.
This annual award offers cash prizes for the best original poems written in the 2006/2007 academic year by Memorial students.
This year’s winner, Catch, was written by Amanda Jernigan, a graduate student of English. Ms. Jernigan was presented with a cheque for $300 by Gregory Power Jr., son of the award’s namesake.
John Hoben, a graduate student in Education, won second prize ($200) for Banting Lake and Degan Davis took third ($100) with Winter. Three honourable mentions were also awarded to Chris Mercer, Jenna Hawkins and Duncan Major.
The competition is open to all Memorial undergraduate and graduate students, and entries are judged by a panel of faculty members from the Department of English Language and Literature.
Dr. Andrew Loman one of the judges on the panel said “the quality of the submissions in this year’s competition was impressive. Although the judges were unanimous about the top three poems, we were delighted by the range and quality of the entries.
“As a newcomer to the province, I was thrilled to see the virtuosity of Newfoundland's emerging poets. There’s every indication that these writers will foster this province's growing literary reputation in the years ahead,” said Dr. Loman.
Gregory J. Power was born in Dunville in 1909 and first achieved recognition as an athlete; in 1930, he represented Newfoundland at the first British Empire Games. He was MHA for Placentia-St. Mary's from 1951 to 1959, serving as both minister of finance and minister of Highways in those years. However, this award is in recognition of Mr. Power’s literary gifts; he twice won the O’Leary Newfoundland Poetry Awards and published two important books, Gems of Newfoundland Poetry (1967) and The Power of the Pen (1989). His poem Bogwood has been called one of the province’s best literary achievements.
The awards ceremony took place on the St. John’s campus on Thursday, March 29. In addition to readings by the student winners, internationally-renowned Newfoundland poet Tom Dawe read from his work.