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Professor at UVSC wins poetry-competition prize

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OREM — Laurelyn Whitt, professor of philosophy and integrated studies at Utah Valley State College, recently placed second in the Utah Arts Council poetry writing competition in the Collection of Poems category.

The award for the poetry manuscript, "Crossing Over," included a $1,000 check. The Utah Arts Council announced the results of the 48th Annual Original Writing Competition. Out of 169 entries, 21 awards were presented to 19 writers in seven categories.

"The money was insignificant in comparison to the commentary made by the judges," said Whitt. "It is very useful and encouraging for a writer to receive expert feedback on a new manuscript."

Kelle Groom, the judge for the poetry competition, described Whitt's poetry as "an exploration of the mysterious territory of the soul. These lyrical, compassionate poems are in love with the world. The author speaks with grace and tenderness for what has been lost. Everything in these poems, from birds, to the sea, to rocks and mountains that shook themselves free of the earth, to those who have died, are alive in spirit. The speaker is a survivor who examines the loneliness of extinction and the need to pay attention. In their wonder and respect for the dead and the living, these graceful, spiritual poems feel like messages from another world."