Update: Winners announced for WLT Poetry Contest

November 19, 2012
by WLT


The following students were chosen by Mr. Stern and Ms. Macari as the first, second, and third place winners in the WLT Poetry Contest. The students read their poetry in front of the two poets and a public audience Friday, November 16th.

  • 1st place – Shaina Thomas
  • 2nd place – Danielle Pfaff
  • 3rd place – Emily Kolvitz


The following OU students were selected as finalists in the WLT Poetry Contest:

  • Jerry Jordin Swanson
  • Stephen C. Ballard
  • Miriam Mezzetti
  • Jordan Doerfel
  • Lisa Fiedler
  • Laura Hernandez
  • Derrick Jones
  • Emily Kolvitz
  • Danielle Pfaff
  • Shaina Thomas
  • Jeremiah Stinnett

Stephen Ballard is a small-town poet from rural southeastern Oklahoma. He is currently working on a dissertation in the OU College of Education. Stephen lives in Ada, Oklahoma, with his wife and their two daughters.

Jordan Doerfel is a Senior Letters Major with a strong emphasis on the Classics. She was born and raised here in Norman, and she loves reading, sleeping, and writing.

Lisa Fiedler is a freshman English major with a deep love for children, vegetables, and all things furry. She hopes to someday be a published author and is super excited to be here today!

Laura Hernandez’s very active imagination provides inspiration for her poetry and fiction. Writing children's books in her spare time, she's actively working toward a career in publishing. She's currently pursuing a Master's degree in Professional Writing at the University of Oklahoma. 

Derrick Jones is a freshman from Muskogee Oklahoma. He is majoring in Biology and Psychology and is Pre-Med. Poetry has always been a hobby of his and he says it is the best and most beautiful way to express emotion.

Emily Kolvitz is a student archivist, skeptic, mother, wife, and graduate student at the OU School of Library and Information Studies.

Miriam Mezzetti has loved poetry ever since discovering Robert Frost as a child. An avid reader, she writes poetry, short stories, and is a devoted photographer. She is a sophomore National Merit scholar, double majoring in Philosophy and Business Entrepreneurship.

Danielle Pfaff has a Bachelor’s in English Writing from the University of Oklahoma and is working towards a Masters of English Education. She currently works at Norman High School as an 11th grade English Teacher.

Jeremiah Stinnett is a university freshman originally from Del City, Oklahoma. He is currently pursuing a major in Computer Science Engineering with a minor in English writing. He’s been avidly writing, enjoying, and performing poetry for over two years now.

Jerry Jordin Swanson was born in Norman, Oklahoma. He is currently a senior who is majoring in English. He enjoys writing music and short stories as well as poetry. His favorite poets are W. B. Yeats, Robert Frost, W. H. Auden, Dylan Thomas, and D. H. Lawrence.

Shaina Thomas is a graduating senior, double majoring in General Sociology and Africana Studies. After graduating in May, she hopes to pursue her Master’s and Ph.D. at Georgia State University in Sociology with an emphasis on Race and Urban Studies.


Do You Write Poetry?


The WLT Poetry Contest

The Student Advisory Board and editors of World Literature Today, OU’s award-winning magazine of international literature and culture, are sponsoring a poetry contest in conjunction with the upcoming visit of Gerald Stern and Anne Marie Macari

On November 16, the three winners will read their poems in front of Stern, Macari, and a public audience.



November 11, 2012



1st place – $200

2nd place – $100

3rd place – $50



November 16, 2012
Lab Theatre
Old Science Hall 200



• Open to currently enrolled OU students pursuing any major, graduate or undergraduate

• Must be able to attend the public reading on November 16, 3-5pm, in Old Science Hall

• Ask your professor for the PDF packet of poems by Stern and Macari, or download the PDF packet here.

• Write up to five poems inspired by their work – imagery, use of language, theme, voice, etc.

• Type your poems in a Word document, one poem per page; be sure to include your name, phone number, and email address.

• By November 11, send your submission via email attachment to Kayley Gillespie, vice president of the WLT Student Advisory Board: [email protected].

A committee of students, in consultation with WLT's editor in chief, will select a shortlist of finalists, and the winners will be chosen by Mr. Stern and Ms. Macari. Finalists will be notified by November 12.


Daniel Simon, Editor in Chief
World Literature Today
325-0317 | Monnet 102