CONWAY, Ark. (May
3, 2021) — Poets’ Roundtable of Arkansas (PRA) has announced the winners of its
2021 statewide Jeanie Dolan Carter Memorial Collegiate Poetry Contest, and
three Hendrix College students are among the honorees: Flannery Hirrel ’22 of
Little Rock, Arkansas, Annemarie Bennett ’22 of Hurst, Texas, and Zoie Keys ’24
of Hot Springs, Arkansas.
Because of the
pandemic, instead of live readings, the winners shared recordings for the
virtual Dr. Lily Peter Spring Celebration, an annual PRA event. The statewide
contest has been sponsored annually for the last five years by the recently
deceased Mr. Roger Carter of Hot Springs in memorial to his wife, Jeanie. Dr.
Emory D. Jones, a PRA member, served as judge. In addition to first, second,
and third place recognition, he selected five poems worthy of honorable
Of the seven
students from Hendrix College who submitted entries this year, one placed
first, one placed third, and one received third honorable mention.
“Thank you to the
Poets’ Roundtable of Arkansas for recognizing three promising Hendrix College
poets,” said Dr. Erin Hoover, the Murphy Visiting Fellow in Poetry at Hendrix.
“In ‘remains,’ Flannery Hirrel’s talents for evoking moments of unexpected
beauty are on display, while ‘Some Things Stay’ by Annemarie Bennett compels
the reader to take a second look at those places we neglect. Zoie Keys’ ‘Cacophony’
is an imaginative poem about the nature of duality. Our poetry community at
Hendrix is thrilled to see the work of these stellar poets applauded.”
Hirrel, a junior
creative writing major at Hendrix, received a $500 First Place award for her
poem, “remains.” She began writing poetry in elementary school and quickly
developed a love for the craft. Hirrel is no stranger to PRA contests, placing
third as a high school freshman and winning First Place when she was a senior
in the PRA’s Spring Student Contests for Middle and High School. “I am thrilled
to have the opportunity to share my work with more Arkansas poets,” Hirrel says.
Bennett, a junior
at Hendrix, received a $200 Third Place award for her poem, “Some Things Stay.”
She is the fiction editor for the Hendrix literary magazine, The Aonian,
and has always been passionate about writing and literature. In her free time,
she enjoys sitting outside in the sun and adding to her collection of house
plants. “I am beyond honored and excited to have placed in this contest and
have the opportunity to share my poem here,” she says.
Mention in the competition went to Zoie Keys for “Cacophony.” A computer
science major at Hendrix, Keys has dabbled in creative writing since middle
school, tying it to her love of video games and their storytelling aspect. She
has been involved in numerous STEM organizations and clubs, but has always had
a soft spot for writing, even starting her own poetry club at Hendrix. “Poetry
for me is a passion that’s just beginning,” she says.
of Arkansas is the oldest non-profit poetry organization in the state,
established in 1931 to encourage the art of poetry. Members are from all around
the state, including past and present Arkansas Poet Laureates. Poets are
encouraged to contact any PRA Branch President and visit a meeting. PRA is
affiliated with the National Federation of State Poetry Societies (NFSPS). PRA
and NFSPS sponsor educational poetry conferences and contests throughout the
year for all ages. For more information, see the website listed above and like
us on Facebook. Or contact PRA President John McPherson (email@example.com) or PRA’s Collegiate Contest Chair Karen
About Hendrix College
A private liberal
arts college in Conway, Arkansas, Hendrix College consistently earns
recognition as one of the country’s leading liberal arts institutions, and is
featured in Colleges
That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About
Its academic quality and rigor, innovation, and value have established Hendrix
as a fixture in numerous college guides, lists, and rankings. Founded in 1876,
Hendrix has been affiliated with the United Methodist Church since 1884. To
learn more, visit www.hendrix.edu.