Zoë Bodzas ’16 was recently named winner of the annual Kathryn Irene Glascock Intercollegiate Poetry Contest at Mount Holyoke College. Founded in 1924, it is the oldest intercollegiate poetry competition in the country and has launched the careers of many of America’s most important poets.
Bodzas, a creative writing major, was nominated by faculty in Hamilton’s Literature/Creative Writing Department. A short manuscript of her poems was submitted to the judges and then Bodzas read from her work at the competition at Mt. Holyoke. Six contestants representing various colleges competed for the prize.
“A lot of important writers have been involved with this competition over the last 93 years and it’s been a great honor to participate in that,” said Bodzas.
Previous winners of the Glascock Poetry Competition include James Merrill who won in 1946, Sylvia Plath (1955), Kenneth Koch (1948), and Gjertrud Schnackenberg (1973). Judges have included Robert Frost, W.H. Auden, William Carlos Williams and John Updike.
The contest is named for Kathryn Irene Glascock a young poet who graduated from Mount Holyoke in 1922 and died in 1923. Shortly after her death, Glascock’s parents established the Glascock Prize. It became an intercollegiate event in 1924.
“I had a really good experience during the competition and especially enjoyed meeting the other student contestants and the poet judges,” Bodzas remarked. “It was exciting to have a weekend that was so immersive in poetry, particularly at a time when I was finishing up my creative writing thesis.”
Bodzas said that after graduation she would like to work in New York for a few years before applying to graduate schools.