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Dordt College News

Students win Lyrical Iowa poetry awards

September 16, 2011

“Publishing poetry is no easy task,” says Dordt College English Professor Howard Schaap. But for six Dordt College poets, being published has become a reality.

The Iowa Poetry Association (IPA) announced the winners of the annual Lyrical Iowa Contest, a competition that honors top six poems in each category and publishes an anthology of 300 or more of the best poems. In the college category, five of the six awards were given to Dordt College students. Dordt students have a history of doing well in this competition.

This year’s recipients include:

• First Place: Alexander Thomas of Sioux Center, Iowa, a 2011 graduate of Dordt College.
• Second: Ryan Lapadula of Visalia, Calif., a junior majoring in English with a writing emphasis.
• Third: Danielle Richards of Grand Island, Neb., a junior majoring in English with a writing emphasis.
• First Honorable Mention: Kenyon Gradert of Ireton, Iowa, a 2011 graduate of Dordt College.
• Third Honorable Mention: Meghan Aardsma of Oak Lawn, Ill., a senior majoring in digital media production.

Also selected for publication in the Adult General category was a villanelle by Gabby Eckardt of Rock Valley, Iowa, a 2011 graduate of Dordt College.

“Dordt students get how to ‘incarnate’ their ideas in poetry, in imagery and other concrete ways,” Schaap said. This particular group of students did an exceptional job, pushing themselves by taking risks in their writing and trying forms and styles they weren’t used to in order to stretch themselves.”

According to its website, the IPA “is a non-profit organization whose sole objective is to promote interest in and appreciation for better poetry by Iowans.” Categories of the Lyrical Iowa Poetry contest include adult general, national/world events, sonnets, college, poems for children, haiku, humorous verse, college, high school, upper grades (5 – 8), and lower grades (K – 4).

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