MAY 29, 2009

Carnegie Mellon Freshman Wins Borders Open-Door Poetry Contest
By Eric Sloss, CFA Press Release, May 29, 2009

Madeleine BarnesPITTSBURGH—Madeleine Barnes, a freshman in Carnegie Mellon University's Bachelor of Humanities and Arts Program, has won first place in the teen category of the Borders Open-Door Poetry Contest. Barnes' "An Inventor's Finest Plan" was picked from more than 5,000 submissions and is read by two-time Poet Laureate Billy Collins in a video available on the Borders Web site,

"Winning the contest gave me hope and enforced what I've learned about writing poetry, which is that it connects you to people in ways that are otherwise unfeasible and allows you to reach out this way. I've been reading Billy Collins' work for years. I think every young poet wants to reach out to the poets they admire because they set the example for us," Barnes said.

"What I liked about Madeleine B's poem 'An Inventor's Finest Plan' was, I was struck by its self-consciousness ... there's a great deal of metaphoric life and variety," said Collins in the taped reading of Barnes' work.

Open-Door Poetry is an initiative of Borders and The Student Publishing Program. The initiative produces a monthly web-based entertainment program in addition to the quarterly contest. As part of the award, Barnes may have a chance to give a public reading with Collins within the next year.

The Bachelor of Humanities and Arts, Bachelor of Science and Arts, and Bachelor of Computer Science and Arts are interdisciplinary programs within the newly renamed program, BXA. BXA is a multidisciplinary program combining the arts, humanities and sciences by providing joint bachelor's degree programs between the College of Fine Arts, the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, the School of Computer Science and the Mellon College of Science. For more information about BXA, visit