William Watterson Judges 2005 Longfellow Prize Competition

Story posted April 18, 2005

Three top winners have been chosen for the 2005 Longfellow Prize, a statewide sonnet-writing competition for high school students. Dr. William C. Watterson, Edward Little Professor of the English Language and Literature at Bowdoin College, judged this year's contest.

Margaret Machaiek of Rockland High School, Markus Schlotterbeck of Edward Little High School, and Eliza Squibb from Camden Hills Regional High School are the winners.

A ceremony celebrating the three winners and all students who entered the contest will be held at the Bowdoin College Chapel from 2-4 p.m. Saturday, April 30, 2005. The public is invited to the ceremony and admission is free. Refreshments will be served.

The winners will read their prize poems at the ceremony, and professional poets Watterson, Denis Corish (Bowdoin Professor of Philosophy), and Thomas Carper will also read.

The program will feature Portland High School vocalist Molly Radis performing Longfellow poems that have been set to music, and the Portland Public Schools strings students performing original music by composer Carl Eberl for Carper's poem "Casting the Nets." The Longfellows, a new Bowdoin College choral group, will also sing several pieces.

Portland High School Fine Arts Boosters obtained a grant from Maine Humanities Council five years ago to establish the Longfellow Prize and continues to support the contest with scholarship money. The contest encourages young poets to work in the sonnet form.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was born in Portland, Maine, in 1807. He graduated from Bowdoin College in 1825, and later became professor of modern languages and librarian at his alma mater.

This is the first time the Longfellow Prize ceremony has been held on the Bowdoin campus.

Information on Longfellow and the Longfellow Collection at the Bowdoin College Library is available at library.bowdoin.edu/arch/mss/hwlg.shtml

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