Carnegie Mellon Press Release: January 8, 2004
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Press Release

Contact:
Jonathan Potts
412-268-6094

For immediate release:
January 8, 2004

Young Writers Keep the Dream Alive Through Carnegie Mellon's Martin Luther King Jr. Day Writing Awards

PITTSBURGH—The winners of the fifth annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day Writing Awards at Carnegie Mellon University will honor the vision and sacrifice of the slain civil rights leader when they read their work as part of the university's Martin Luther King Day celebration at 1:30 p.m., Monday, January 19, in Rangos Hall in the University Center.

About 112 students from Pittsburgh-area high schools and Carnegie Mellon submitted essays or poetry reflecting on the role race has played in their lives. Awards were given in two categories: prose (fiction and nonfiction) and poetry. Prizes are $100, $50 and $25 for first, second and third places in each category.

The writing awards ceremony follows Carnegie Mellon President Jared Cohon's annual state of diversity address, and it is one of the highlights of the university's celebration of King's life. The awards are sponsored by the university's Creative Writing Program, which is part of the Department of English in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences. The awards are co-sponsored by Student Affairs and the Office of the President at Carnegie Mellon.

"I found this year's entries to be particularly moving. We can all learn a great deal from the sensitive, complex stories these young people have to tell about race in America," said Jim Daniels, the director of the Creative Writing Program.

A list of winners follows.

High school poetry:
First place, "Picnic Poem" by Nathan Resnick-Day, Pittsburgh High School for the Creative and Performing Arts (CAPA)

Second place, "My Mother Speaks" by Ashley Smith, CAPA

Third place, "My First Best Friend" by Arica L. Hayes, CAPA

Honorable mentions, "I Am" by Raquel Khosah, Schenley High School; "Isn't Music the Universal Language?" by Jeri Ogden, CAPA; "The Wrath of Hamtaro" by Kathleen Dillon, CAPA; "Define Me" Brittanie Jones, Perry Traditional Academy; "Outside the Box" by Corey Carrington, Perry

High school prose:
First place, "A Different Kind of Field" by Sierra Laventure-Volz, Winchester Thurston Academy

Second place,"A Crime Too Dark" by Brittany Boyd, Winchester Thurston

Third place, "Phone Bank" by Amanda Huminski, CAPA

Honorable mentions, "Color, What is Color?" by Ashley Roston, Schenley; "Finding the Perfect Role Model" by Ang Li, The Ellis School; "Apologies" by Rachel Belloma, CAPA

Carnegie Mellon poetry:
First place, "Langston Speaks of Mountains" by Christina Acosta

Second place, "How to Describe Diaspora" by Sarah E. Smith

Third place, "Unmove-able" by Casey Spindler

Honorable mentions, "Harriet Faid" by Connie Amoroso; "Kissed by Hip-Hop" by Kristen Bernard; "Ways to Know About Bodies" by Carolyn G. Elliott

Carnegie Mellon prose:
First place, "Letter from Indian Country" by Katy June-Friesen

Second place, "A Letter to James Baldwin" by Debra Halpern

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