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Ekphrastic Poetry Contest Winners Announced

The winners of the 2018 Ekphrastic Poetry Contest at the Toledo Museum of Art have been selected and were recognized at an awards ceremony on May 11, 2018 in the GlasSalon.

The winning poems will be posted in a mobile guide on TMApp, which can be downloaded for free on android and apple devices. 

Ekphrasis – literary writing about art – has been the theme of the Museum’s poetry contest since its start in 2009. Entrants are asked to embark on a docent-led tour of the Museum’s collection or explore the galleries on their own, then submit a poem inspired by a work of art they have seen. Poetry is judged based on originality, form, language, grammatical skill and the creativity of the interpretation.

Judges reviewed over 250 entries to select winners in adult, high school and middle school categories. Among the judges on this year’s panel was Joel Lipman, former Lucas County poet laureate, who has taught ekphrastic writing at the Museum as well as Sandra Rivers-Gill an award-winning poet and local educator Luke Fannin. 

6-8th Grade Level:

  • Bailey Price, 6-8th Honorable Mention
    • School: Jefferson Jr. High School
  • Katherine Metzger, 6-8th Honorable Mention
    • School: West Side Montessori
  • Elliot Zajac, 6-8th Honorable Mention
    • School: West Side Montessori
  • Daniel Knorek, 6-8th 3rd Place
    • School: Maumee Valley Country Day School
  • Milla Ondusky, 6-8th 2nd Place
    • School: Jefferson Jr. High School
  • Ariana Fahl, 6-8th 1st Place
    • School: Maumee Valley Country Day School

High School Level

  • Caroline Thomas, High School Teen Choice Award
    • School: Central Catholic High School
  • Nathaniel Erickson, High School Honorable Mention
    • School: Central Catholic High School
  • Alexa Denko, High School 3rd Place
    • School: Central Catholic High School
  • Penny Duran, High School 2nd Place
    • School: Willy Brandt Schule
  • Jenell Gross, High School TIE 1st Place
    • School: Central Catholic High School
  • Hailey O’Mara, High School TIE 1st Place
    • School: Central Catholic High School

Adult Level

  • Kristine Goldsmith, Adult Honorable Mention
    • City: Rossford, OH
  • Mary Beam, Adult Honorable Mention
    • City: Ypsilanti, MI
  • Gavin Spilker, Adult Honorable Mention
    • City: Bowling Green, OH
  • Lydia Horvath, Adult 3rd Place
    • City: Toledo, OH
  • Mark Allred, Adult 2nd Place
    • City: Toledo, OH
  • Justin Longacre, Adult 1st Place
    • City: Toledo, OH

Judges Bios:

Sandra Rivers-Gill: Sandra Rivers-Gill is an award-winning poet, writer, performer and playwright. Her poetry has recently found a home in Ripcord Magazine, SHE CHRONICLES, Commons Threads, and Toledo Streets Newspaper.  Sandra teaches poetry at Naomi, Inc., treatment facility for women; and is the editor of a chapbook, featuring the poetic work of the women she serves.  She is an alumna of the University of Toledo.

Joel LIpman: Appointed the first Poet Laureate of Lucas County (2008-2014), by the Board of County Commissioners, University of Toledo Emeritus Professor of English Joel Lipman was raised in Kenosha, Wisconsin and lived in Madison, Chicago and Buffalo before settling in Toledo in 1975. Awarded numerous fellowships for poetry, the Ohio’s Governor’s Award for the Arts in 1988 and 2011 Ohioana State Library’s Pegasus Award for Lifetime Achievement, his poems are on the Poetry Foundation website: New work will be published in the May 2018 issue of POETRY.

Luke Fanin: Luke Fannin served 5 years active duty in the US Air Force as a meteorologist, then opted to separate and attend the University of Toledo where he earned two bachelor’s degrees: College of Education AYA Language Arts, and Sciences in English with a concentration in writing. Luke has taught for the last 5 years as a Junior High Gifted Intervention Specialist, working for the Education Center of Lake Erie West. He teaches Language Arts to 7th and 8th grade gifted classes in Washington Local Schools, and, this past year, has also been a districted Gifted Coordinator for Ottawa Hills and Rossford Schools. Luke has been working with the Toledo Museum of Art for the past two years in various curriculum-development initiatives: The Summer Institute and the Teacher Leaders programs, under the leadership of Kate Blake.