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Creative Writing Graduate Wins Prestigious Poetry Award

Published on October 5, 2012

Kim Stoll, a 2012 Susquehanna University creative writing graduate, recently won the Norman Mailer Award for college poetry writing for her poem, “If the Stars were Black, The Skies White.”Kim Stoll Stoll accepted the award at the center's fourth annual Benefit Gala in New York City on Oct. 4.

Stoll wrote the poem while still a student at Susquehanna, where she minored in film studies. A resident of Tucson, Ariz., she currently is pursuing a Master of Fine Arts degree in poetry at the University of Arizona. She joins other graduates of Susquehanna’s nationally recognized creative writing program who have garnered prestigious awards for their work.

The awards gala, held at New York’s Mandarin Oriental Hotel, was chaired by Tina Brown, editor of Newsweek and The Daily Beast, and emceed by actor Alec Baldwin, with special guest Muhammad Ali.

“This award is a total honor,” Stoll said. “There were all of these famous people at the benefit, and everyone was so nice, inviting and congratulatory. My fellow award recipients were all wonderful as well--talented and interesting. I was honored to spend the evening with them and hope to stay in touch after this event.”

The Norman Mailer Centerhonors the author’s creative legacy by “supporting writers who challenge readers’ perspective on the world around them.” Since 2009, the center has collaborated with the National Council of Teachers of English to present the Mailer Student and Teacher Writing Awards. The first awards for poetry were presented this year, along with prizes for fiction and nonfiction writing. As a national winner, Stoll received a cash prize of $5,000.

The college poetry category was judged by Meena Alexander, poet and Mailer Writers Colony fellowship mentor, and poet Ronaldo V. Wilson. Submissions were assessed based on the artful treatment of subject matter; originality; quality of insight, voice and style; artful arrangement of elements and materials; and overall aesthetic, emotional or intellectual effect.

“I think the most important part of this award is just the fact that there are people out there willing to support the arts,” Stoll said. “It was an amazing experience to be in a room filled with people who believe that what I'm doing--what all of us writers are doing--is necessary and worthy of recognition.”

Read Stoll’s award-winning poem at http://nmcenter.org/awards_pages/view/7/2012-norman-mailer-center-and-the-ncte-awards.


Karen M. Jones

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