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Ann Arbor, MI Student Takes First Place in Notre Dame’s 2013-2014 Eichner Awards for Young Poets

February 19, 2014

Hanel Baveja of Huron High School in Ann Arbor, MI, has been awarded first prize in Notre Dame of Maryland University's 2013-2014 Eichner Awards for Young Poets for her poem “The Concavity of Checkmate.”

The prestigious award, named in honor of poet, teacher and alumna, Sister Maura Eichner, SSND '41, celebrates aspiring young female poets nationwide. The 20 semifinalists were chosen out of more than 230 entries from across the U.S. The first, second and third prize entries will be published in Damozel, Notre Dame's literary magazine.

Noted poet and MacArthur fellow A.E. Stallings, who served as contest judge of the Eichner Awards, had high praise for all ofthe entries. “This was an exceptionally strong and diverse group of poems.  If I had not known it was from a group of ‘younger’ poets I would not have guessed it,” she said.

Stallings said Baveja’s poem stood out from the others, both for its form and excellence.

“Prose poems aren’t usually my cup of tea, so I think it says a lot that this one came in first for me,” she said. “Images immediately lodged into my memory (‘empty sockets of olives’), and whole lines surprised me, even in their simple,prosy statements.  (‘We agreed it was beautiful even though it was not.’)  ”

Second prize was awarded to Jennifer Hu from McDonoghSchool in Owings Mills, MD, for her poem “Waiting Room Ballade,” and third prize went to Sally McFadden from Towson High School in Towson, MD, for her poem “Purple Haze.” Two poems received honorable mention: Claire Nakazawa from McDonogh School in Owings Mills, MD, for her poem “The Disappeared,” and Margaret Follet from Acton-Boxborough Regional High School in Acton, MA, for her poem “Stain.”

SemiFinalists (Listed in alphabetical order)

Elena Bolgiano

Notre Dame Prep, Baltimore, MD

Helen Galvin Ross

Towson High School, Towson, MD

Amanda Gaylord

Yorktown High School, Arlington, VA

Emily Geritz

Notre Dame Prep, Baltimore, MD

Richa Gode

Hunter College High School, New York, NY

Margaret Herr

Notre Dame Prep, Baltimore, MD

Stephanie Hsu

Mission San Jose High School, Fremont, CA

Anna Kingsbury

Towson High School, Towson, MD

Victoria Laboz

York Preparatory School, New York, NY

Marissa Luca

Egg Harbor Township High School, Egg Harbor, NJ

Molly McDaniel

Interlochen Arts Academy, Interlochen, MI

Natachi Mez

Franklin High School, Elk Grove, CA

Heather Seyler

Towson High School, Towson, MD

Deanna Stephen

Mercy High School, Baltimore, MD

Aletheia Wang

(homeschooled), Goleta, CA

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