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Poetry Contest Winners Honored

DATE: 01-02-2013

The Center for Academic Success and the Tutor Club on the Auburn Campus recognized winners of the Second Annual Fall Poetry Contest with a ceremony and reading on December 10 at CCC’s Bourke Library. The award-winning poets are Mattie Bourque, recipient of the $50 first prize; Colin Wentworth, who earned the $30 second prize; and Ryan Gabak, whose poem received the $20 third prize.

A completely student-focused project, the poetry contest was funded this year by the Tutor Club and was open to all students attending at least one class on the Auburn Campus. ­Blind judging of the poetry entries was done entirely by writing tutors. “One goal of the contest is to increase the visibility of the tutoring services available through the Center for Academic Success, as well as to encourage students interested in the arts,” said Karen Jetty, English specialist at the Center for Academic Success.

Tutor Francesca Considine served as emcee at the award ceremony, which featured Colin Wentworth reading his winning entry, Faith Fanning reading the work of Ryan Gabak, and Francesca Considine reading Mattie Bourque’s poem. In addition to the cash awards, each winner will receive a certificate in honor of their literary achievement.

The winning poems will be published in an upcoming issue of “The Collegian.” A third annual contest is planned for fall 2013.

Winning entries – Poetry Contest     Fall 2012


First prize: Mattie Bourque


I bask in dim light,
Did you make it through the fight?
Two cold hands in the air,
I pray God, are you there?
Down on my knees,
I think about you sailing the seas.
I miss your simple ways,
Though it’s been only days.
I sent you a letter,
Please write back and tell me things will be better.
At night my mind races,
Thinking about places, you might be if you don’t return to me.
Come morning I stand
With your hat in my hand.
Two brave men at my door,
You are no more.
It was all that they found,
The day your ship went down.
If anyone wonders where I’ll be,
God explain, I’m lost at sea.
In this letter I write,
Beside the dim light.



Second prize: Colin Wentworth


Is there any cause worth dying for?

Any purpose worth living for?

and so long as we're keeping score

When was the last time you felt anything more,


Than some meaningless drive..

to stay alive?

Than a press for some..

arbitrary sense of success? 


There must be a human being,

with words worth hearing. 

But if that's true

they must be solemn, and few.


Now I will rise to the Occasion

But is there any Occasion for which to rise?


Third prize: Ryan Gabak


 Going Home


Living in tropical paradise

on the coast of the sunshine state.

Emerald water of the gulf crashes to shore, Pearly white sand disturbed by a thousand footprints, powerful sun beating down for everyone to enjoy.


The highway along the beach front,

alive with maddening traffic.

Wealthy locals act like they rule the place, and they do.

Numerous tourists come in and out.

They use the land,

and the locals use them.


From the North looking below

waves and sun seem enticing,

but the exhausting heat wears you down.

The perfect place to visit

is not the perfect place to live.


On a breezy day I start my travels.

The plane pulls up to the terminal,

in the small deserted airport.

Hours pass,

the plane lands roughly on the frozen landscape.


Back in my hometown,

the winter air makes my body shiver.

Back to the weather I once despised,

but I smile.

Glistening snow untouched sparkles in the moonlight, Ice clings to the branches of the empty trees like Christmas lights.


My family is warm and inviting.

The aroma of the woodstove hits me,

Open arms extended from my mother.

Old friends and good times are waiting.

I know why I boarded that plane,

I know where I belong.