Sylvia Plath at Smith


Award: $500

Judge for 2013: Alicia Ostriker

The winner & three finalists will read their poems at the Judge's reading

at Smith College on April 8th, 2014.

2013 Winner:

Maria Theano Juran (St. Luke’s School), for “you don’t know anything so don’t even”


Courtney Breiner (Emma Willard School), for “Sweetheart, you were rude”
Ruting Li (Milton Academy), for “Ode to Summer Storms”
Isabelle Ness (Northampton High School), for “When No One’s Watching”


Elizabeth Cappello (Pioneer Valley Performing Arts), for “self-indulgent suburban song”
Irene Chung (Westover School), for “A Memory of the Well”
Marie Isabelle Doyle (Emma Willard School), for “an Gorta Mór”
Erin Fishman (Chatham High School), for “Sweeter”
Clara Henderson (The Sharon Academy) for “car radio dies, thinking ensues, cosmos widens”
Dianne Kim (Milton Academy), for “1942, Japanese Occupation of Korea”
LeighAnn Kulpa (Westover School), for “Chrysanthemum”
Afua B. Nsiah (Westover School) for “My Mother’s Dressing Room”
Jesse Saffeir (Merriconeag Waldorf School), for “Island”
Amanda Grace Shu (Melrose High School), for “Azure”
Madeleine Specht (Wachusett Regional High School), for “my girl”


The Poetry Center at Smith College was founded in 1998 with the goals of bringing distinguished poets to the College, creating a video archive of their readings, promoting an appreciation of poetry in the larger community through outreach to schools. The Poetry Center celebrates Smith’s long and illustrious relationship with such world-renowned poets as Sylvia Plath, W.H. Auden, Richard Wilbur, and Adrienne Rich.





About the Judge

A major force as both poet and critic, Alicia Ostriker leaps into her subjects with bristling intelligence, fierce humanity and wit, proclaimed Poetry magazine. Twice nominated for a National Book Award, Ostriker is author of seven volumes of criticism and fourteen of poetry, including The Book of Life: Selected Jewish Poems 1979-2011 and The Imaginary Lover, winner of the William Carlos Williams Award. She is the recipient of fellowships from the NEA, the Guggenheim and Rockefeller foundations, and the Poetry Society of America, among others. Joyce Carol Oates has praised Ostrikers literary output as essential to understanding our American selves.

Past judges: Naomi Shihab Nye * Sharon Olds * Maxine Kumin



View the 2012 winners

View the 2011 winners

View the 2010 winners

View the 2009 winners

View the 2008 winners

View the 2007 winners

From Sylvia Plath's journal, Smith College, April 27, 1953