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Notre Dame of Maryland University Names First Eichner Poetry Award Winners

January 21, 2013

Notre Dame of Maryland University has named Katherine Way the first winner of the Sister Maura Eichner Award for Young Poets. Named in honor of poet, teacher and Notre Dame alumna, Maura Eichner, SSND ’41, the competition celebrates aspiring young female poets nationwide. Ms. Way is a resident of Arlington, Virginia, where she attends Yorktown High School.

“Some experiences defy communication, and those experiences inspired this poem,” said Ms. Way, of her winning piece, “On Beating a Rabbit to Death with My Bare Hands.” “It’s a poem about wanting things but being too afraid to go out and get them, and all the chances you miss because of fear,” she explained.

“This is a poem that can only exist in the imagination,” said poet Cate Marvin, 2012 Eichner Award Judge. “It’s very active and visual, very smart.”

The second place prize was awarded to Bindu Bansinath from Stuart Country Day School of the Sacred Heart in Princeton, New Jersey, for her poem “Anahi.” Margaret Wright, also from Stuart Country Day School of the Sacred Heart, won third place honors for her poem “This is My Computer Poem.”

[Enjoy the winning poems and Ms. Marvin’s full remarks online at www.ndm.edu.]

The annual Eichner Award for Young Poets competition is open to all young women, ages 14-18, who are enrolled in a secondary school in the U.S. The first place winner receives $500. The second place prize is $300 and third place $100. Each of the winning poems will be featured in Damozel, Notre Dame's literary magazine.

About Sister Maura Eichner

During her life, more than 350 of Sister Maura’s poems were published in literary magazines, journals and newspapers including America, The New York Times, Yale Review and Commonweal; and in ten collections, including “Initiate the Heart” (1946), “The Word is Love” (1958); “Walking on Water” (1972), “What We Women Know” (1980) and “Hope is a Blind Bard” (1989). Among her numerous awards was the prestigious Theodore Hesburgh Award for Contribution to Higher Education in 1986.

Sister Maura died in 2009, at the age of 94. In her honor, Notre Dame established the Sister Maura Eichner Endowed Chair in English. Over the years, Sister Maura’s students won many awards in national writing contests sponsored by The Atlantic Monthly, Lyric and other magazines. In the 21 years of Atlantic’s student-writing contests, Sister Maura’s students won 297 awards, including nine first-place honors. 

Notre Dame of Maryland University

Notre Dame of Maryland University, founded as a Catholic liberal arts college in 1895 by the School Sisters of Notre Dame, educates nearly 3,000 women and men enrolled in degree and certificate programs at its main campus in north Baltimore and at satellite centers in Maryland. The University encompasses a distinguished Women’s College, the first Catholic institution of its kind in America; a College of Adult Undergraduate Studies; a College of Graduate Studies, and an English language Institute, and includes Schools of Arts and Sciences, Education, Nursing and Pharmacy. Rich in tradition, Notre Dame provides students with opportunities in research, study abroad and service to the global community. Visit www.ndm.edu.