The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

SMU professor Susanne Scholz in the West Bank in 2018.
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English department honors student writers

The Creative Writing Program of the English Department recognized its outstanding students yesterday at the annual Creative Writing Showcase held at Varsity Bookstore. Each poetry and fiction-award winners read their pieces aloud. Creative Writing Department Director David Haynes said all of the winners “made him very proud.”

First to read was Will McMahon. The junior film major won third place in the SMU Fiction Awards competition. His essay, “Sunday”, mixes humor and heart-wrenching emotion as he describes a boy coming to grips with death. At one point in the story, McMahon received laughter form the audience when he read “A funeral is the most exhausting thing in the world. That, and shopping for pants.”

Second place in the David R. Russell Poetry Awards competition went to Jeanette Purvis. Her poem, “Allies”, is a vividly descriptive poem based on her father’s Vietnam War experience. Purvis also explained this poem has special meaning to her because her great-grandmother was an African-American slave. After her reading of Allies, she engaged the audience as she read her second poem, “Love Altruist”.

Brentney Hamilton is the winner of the prestigious Margaret Terry Crooks Award. Her essay, “Getting It”, also won her second place in the SMU Fiction competition. A junior creative writing major, Hamilton described her essay as an “example of the great oral tradition” of her hometown of Telephone, Tex. near the Red River. Her short story is a humorous account of adolescence lust. Hamilton writes from a male perspective and describes a crush on Morgan, the idolized female character. Hamilton was also selected by the Dallas Museum of Art to participate in its “Arts and Letters Live at the Literary Café” as part of its “Hot Newcomer” program.

The poem “Midnight Sun Express” won Denise McIntosh first place in the David R. Russell Poetry Awards. McIntosh, a junior from Mesquite, said “living by a railroad growing up and hearing the train horns” gave her inspiration for this award-winning poem. McIntosh has an Associate in Arts degree from Eastfield College and plans to major in Creative Writing.

John Prater is the Lon Tinkle Prize winner for Outstanding Creative Writing Students. He won based on his short story from last semester. His story, aptly titled “Bus Driver”, examines the trials and tribulations of the homeless. The main character is a homeless bus driver, and Prater describes the character’s thoughts and feelings explicitly throughout the story. When asked how he came up with the idea, Prater said it was from observing all the homeless people in Dallas. “They each have a story,” he said.

First place in the SMU Fiction Awards went to the last reader, sophomore transfer student Mohamed Allibhai. Allibhai, who transferred from Tulane University, plans to major in creative writing and journalism. He described his story to the audience as “a girl who is a senior in college and wants to attend grad school, but her parents are trying to marry her off.” His witty humor and effortless writing earned him many laughs from the audience.

All winners and their stories can be found at www.smu.edu/english. The annual Creative Writing contest is open to all undergraduates.

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