2013 Put A Sonnet On It Contest Winners Announced

Congratulations to the winners of our 2013 Put A Sonnet On It contest!


Erin Kreycik (’15) won first prize (and a $50 gift card to Atticus) with her sonnet “Ask Eve.” Erin is an EL major who, in her words, is “learning to write, for
the second or third time so far (the beginning being, apparently, an
everpresent part of the story). Enjoying every angst-fraught moment of it.”

Here’s her sonnet:


What do you want to hear? That there are days

when firebright words, which made you laugh – for joy

of having said them – into other eyes,

dissolve and send you, in the roar of dawn,

gnawing wordless foxholes for your shame?

Or watch the robins. They, ice-berried ash,

red-spattering the morning’s barren fog.

Dark branches bow, beak-torn, mute. And you,

a spy behind your pane – what could you say

to robins? You, sleep-saturated, glad

when you can feel your bones – they, winter-puffed

and hollow, glad when they can cover theirs.

The image shatters, mocking; you explain,

through muddy teeth, that nothing is the same.

Dr. Jennifer Brown, our contest judge, had this to say of our winning entries: “Both poems use the sonnet form – usually a conventional piece of prosody – to weave unconventional narratives about Eden. The first-place winner, ‘Ask Eve,’ by Erin Kreycik, shows us the world before and after the fall, and our new and unwanted separation from nature. Her final phrase, ‘you explain,/through muddy teeth, that nothing is the same’ brings us back, not to Adam and Eve, but to the exiled snake, eating dust. The poem rewards re-reading, and opens itself subtly.”


J. Addison Martin (above), won second place (and a $20 gift card to Atticus) with his sonnet “First Night In Eden.” A native of Merced, California, Jacob reports that “infant head surgery has left him a righteous scar, God has given him a righteous beard, and he neither reads much, writes much, nor gets out much. His favorite past time is making the sacred profane. He has no idea what he’s doing now, let alone what he’ll be doing in the future.”

Says Dr. Brown: “The second-place winner, ‘First Night in Eden,’ by Jacob Martin, places itself before the fall. This joyfully sexy and sexual poem proposes Adam and Eve as created beings in the garden, the first to enjoy the physical act of love as well as everything else. Biblical language infuses the poem (“a parting of the waters,” “his breath in her lungs,”) and the shifting stress makes the poem forceful and fun.”

Here’s Jacob’s sonnet:

First Night in Eden

Eve was a green-eyed belle; intuition

deceived by her green eyes. Hell, there’s more than

one way to know a girl. Red hair in curls spans

a lake of fire, dyes her pale cheek crimson.

Her milk white skin, mouth like cream, hips like cream,

hips like unchurned butter, wet in expectation

for a parting of the waters. She breathes

hard; she’s never done this before. The first.

Green eyes unrehearsed, unbridled, unleashed,

a tigress, Euphrates, her nails in the dirt,

his flesh on her tongue, his breath in her lungs,

lips on her thighs, on her clit and she cries holy fuck!

Man arrived first, but she first came, stood

breathless, naked, without shame, said, god, it is good.

Ok, it’s me again. Wow. Whew. Well.

Congratulations to Erin and Jacob. Big thanks to Dr. Jennifer Brown, Annie Stillar, Matt Comi, the Whitworth English department, and to everyone who entered this year’s poetry contest!

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