Poetry contest winners on display in McClelland Art Gallery

For many, words can paint as beautiful a picture as any brush. Now through May 6, the McClelland Art Gallery will display word pictures created by the entrants in the Union College Poetry Contest.

In its second year, the competition drew 33 submissions judged by a panel of Union College writing professors. The Division of Humanities sponsored the competition, which awards prize money for the top three poems. 

Zach Colgate, whose poem titled “The Steakhouse” won first place, submitted his work because of a creative writing class. Inspired by the extra-credit incentive, the senior English major decided to use a poem he had written for one of the class assignments. “The Steakhouse” utilizes powerful, evocative imagery in his attempt to “establish myself as an American kid.”

Brigitta Beam, a senior communication major who organized the competition, strives to showcase the wide range of talent at Union College. “I think that poetry is sometimes a forgotten art form.” Displaying the submissions in the gallery is her way of reviving the art and recognizing all the poets who decided to share their talent.

Colgate is proud of his poem’s success. “There were a lot of good entries,” he said. “I was surprised that I won.”

The McClelland Art Gallery is located in the lobby of the Ortner Center on the campus of Union College. The gallery is free and open to the public from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.