The Hartwick College Department of English is pleased to announce Amanda Thurston ’20 has won the 2019–20 Anna Sonder Prize for Poetry from the Academy of American Poets (AAP). Thurston took home the top prize for her poem, “A Series of Spokes in a Wheel.” Honorable Mention was awarded to last year’s winner, Taylor P. Miller ’20, for her poem “Revolutions Per Minute.”

This year’s Anna Sonder Prize competition, the 41st, attracted 62 poems from 17 Hartwick students. Judging this year’s competition were Assistant Professor of English Bradley J. Fest and Assistant Professor of English Tessa Yang.

Otto Sonder, late professor emeritus of sociology, endowed a prize in 1978 for the best poem written by a student at Hartwick College, to be awarded annually by the College under the auspices of the AAP in New York City. Hartwick College is a permanent member of AAP, which was founded in 1934 and is the largest organization in the country dedicated to advancing the art of poetry. To fulfill this mission, the Academy administers a wide variety of programs, including the college prize program, which comprises Hartwick College’s Anna Sonder Prize. The prize honors the memory of Sonder’s mother, who died in 1978.

“To be able to share my writing—something I regard as a piece of myself—is an intimidating yet empowering experience,” said Thurston. “I am honored to receive this award, and I am forever grateful to the English professors at Hartwick for always supporting me.”

The College will recognize Thurston and Miller at the 2020 Honors Convocation ceremony on Wednesday, April 29. Their poems, which will also be published in the 2020 issue of the College literary magazine, Word of Mouth, are below: