Student Wins $67,482 For Poetry and Critical Essays
Ever wonder what it’d be like to win one of the largest literary awards in the world? Ask Emma Sovich, a 22-year-old Washington College english major. In 2008, she won $67,481 for her portfolio of poems, critical essays and blog posts.
Presented during the college’s 225th commencement ceremony, the Sophie kerr prize is the largest undergraduate literary award in the country. Sophie Kerr, a prolific American writer of the 1930s and 40s, bequeathed a trust fund to Washington.
College in Chestertown, MD, thus creating the prize. It is awarded every year to a graduating senior who demonstrates the best potential for literary achievement.
A self-described printer, pot-thrower, writer, sketcher and poet, Sovich worked in the print shop of the college’s literary house, hand-setting type and printing books on antique letterpress equipment. She and two classmates created volumes of their work with antique presses and hand tools.
Professor Peter Campion, Sovich’s advisor, applauded Sovich’s “facility for condensed, vivacious language, sympathy for her subjects and dynamic connection to the literary tradition.”
Joshua Wolf Shenk, director of the college’s Rose O’Neill Literary House, praised Sovich’s ability to “[arrange] … words in a form to reach into the minds of readers.”
For more information about the award, visit http://english.washcoll.edu/sophiekerrlegacy/