Western Oregon University student wins prestigious poetry competition

Pictured: Jasper Beck (left) and Henry Hughes Ph.D. (right)

MONMOUTH, Ore. – Western Oregon University student Jasper Beck, an English major, recently won the prestigious College Undergraduate Poetry Competition sponsored by the National Federation of State Poetry Societies.

“We all knew Jasper was a terrific poet, but winning a major national prize provided serious confirmation of his talent.” shared Henry Hughes, Ph.D., Beck’s English professor.

The contest requires students to submit a manuscript of ten poems, and Beck’s collection, titled “Creator & Destroyer,” was selected as the winner from among 31 submissions from 24 schools in 15 states. NFSPS will publish the collection as a chapbook to be launched at their June convention in Roswell, Georgia. The collection is now available for purchase on Amazon

“I’ve always viewed poetry as a personal passion, but this award inspires me toward a professional career as a writer.” shared Beck.

Beck will receive a $500 cash prize, free copies of the chapbook, free registration, and a stipend to attend the June conference to read from his collection. 

In the official April 2024 NFSPS newsletter, Lana Austin, one of the judges, stated, “From the first poem, I fell in love with Creator & Destroyer because I could see, smell, taste, touch, and hear the worlds these poems inhabit that are dripping with luscious verisimilitude. Deft technical precision is evident, yet organically incorporated when considering the chapbook’s sonic splendor.'” 


About Western Oregon University

Western Oregon University, established in Monmouth in 1856, proudly stands as Oregon’s oldest public university. Hosting around 4,000 students, Western embodies a mid-sized, NCAA Division II institution, with approximately 80% of its students hailing from within the state. Notably, its diverse student body comprises individuals from underrepresented backgrounds, veterans, and non-traditional learners. Western stands as the preferred campus in Oregon for those pursuing an enriching education within a nurturing, student-focused environment, characterized by faculty-led instruction.  Together we succeed.

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