Jennifer H. ’14 and Claire N. ’17 Recognized as Aspiring Young Poets in Nationwide Contest

Senior Jennifer H. was awarded second prize in Notre Dame of Maryland University's 2013-2014 Eichner Awards for Young Poets for her poem "Waiting Room Ballade,” and freshman Claire N. received honorable mention for her poem "The Disappeared.”

The prestigious award, named in honor of poet, teacher, and alumna of Notre Dame of Maryland University 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 United States. 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 of the 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 called Jennifer's poem "an exceptional and sophisticated poem, alternating between scherzos and amylase, chemo and Liszt." She shared, “The poet resists editorializing and lets the juxtapositions do the work. The poet is also, though, not afraid of the simple powerful statement (“But the stage is/ just another waiting room”)—a bold maneuver and mastery of register shift I associate with mature poets. This poem is fine-tuned, perfectly pitched, and performed with sprezzatura.”

Discussing Claire's entry, Stallings said, "'The Disappeared' is a spooky (haunted and haunting), sophisticated, devastating poem, whose selective details start to cluster into a harrowing narrative. The form and long lines are also intriguing. A powerful piece.”

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