` Western Oregon University celebrates winners of distinguished poetry prize - Western Oregon University

Western Oregon University celebrates winners of distinguished poetry prize

MONMOUTH, Ore. – Western Oregon University celebrates the winners of the 9th annual Peter Sears Poetry Prize for undergraduate students. 

“It’s become a great literary tradition at Western,” says Henry Hughes Ph.D., who administers the prize.  “It launches young writers, some of whom have gone on to publish their poems in professional magazines and receive national recognition.”

First prize was awarded to  Sophie Borgstahl, a junior in Honors English,  for “Tens Days After Treatment,” second prize to a graduating senior in English, Julian Zeigler, for “4 AM,” and third prize to Lucas Montpart, a junior in Fine Arts,  for “Celebrating My 21st Birthday with My Dead Brothers.” 

The winners read their work at the Academic Excellence Showcase on May 30. The competition received over 50 poems with 10 selected for review by the final judge, Ingrid Wendt, a distinguished poet and educator. 

Professor Wendt said Borgstahl’s winning poem, “with its quiet, understated, deft narrative and perfectly realized tenderness . . . took my breath away.”

This prize honors the memory of Oregon Poet Laureate and friend to Western, Peter Sears (1937-2017). 

Learn more about the Peters Sears Poetry Prize 


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. Where YOU belong.

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