Richard Benvenuto High School Poetry Competition and Tom Samet High School Fiction Competition

2020 Benvenuto High School Poetry Competition and Samet High School Fiction Competition winners
Top row, l-r: Sara Carmichael, Lilian Freundl, Madelyn Dietz
Center row, l-r: Sam Gomez, Peter Schrier
Bottom row, l-r: Sabine Wilson-Patrick, Braijene Fletcher, Regina Cassese
 

 

Each fall, the RCAH Center for Poetry holds the Richard Benvenuto High School Poetry Competition, with prize donated by Barry Gross in memory of his dear classmate, colleague, and friend Richard Benvenuto, and the Tom Samet High School Fiction Competition, with prizes donated by Barry Gross in memory of his esteemed friend Tom Samet.

 

About Richard Benvenuto: 

Richard Ercole Benvenuto taught in the English Department at Michigan State University for 20 years. From his office in Morrill Hall he conducted grad student seminars and advised students on the best paths for their lives. He loved teaching and was a published scholar of Victorian Literature. At the time of his death, Indiana University dedicated an issue of Victorian Studies in his honor. He published two biographies, one on Emily Bronte and the other on Amy Lowell. His next book would have been on Oscar Wilde. As a young grad student he was awarded a Woodrow Wilson Fellowship, which he used to pursue an MFA in Creative Writing at Hollins College, Virginia. At Hollins College, he worked under William Golding, author of Lord of the Flies. Richard played music and wrote poetry throughout his life. He was married for 27 years to his wife, Joyce, and has three children and four grandchildren. 

 

About Tom Samet: 

Tom Samet majored in English at Michigan State University and decided that he wanted to become an English professor. He graduated with High Honors, got a Ph.D in English and American Literature from Brown University, and had a varied and satisfying academic career which was cut tragically short by his death at age 52. 

 

Announcing our 2020 Winners

 

View a reading of the winning entries by the writers here

 

 

Richard Benvenuto Poetry Prize

 

First Place: Sara Carmichael

High School: Interlochen Arts Academy

Year in School: Senior

Sponsoring Teacher: Brittany Cavallaro

Title of Poem: Child with Toy Hand Grenade in Central Park, N.Y.C. 1962

 

Second Place: Madelyn Dietz

High School: Interlochen Arts Academy

Year in School: Senior

Sponsoring Teacher: Brittany Cavallaro

Title of PoemGirlhood Sonnet

 

Third Place: Sam Gomez

High School: Detroit Catholic Central

Year in School: Senior

Sponsoring Teacher: Kevin Griffin

Title of Poem: The Manila Man

 

Honorable Mention: Regina Cassese

High School: Interlochen Arts Academy

Year in School: Senior

Sponsoring Teacher: Brittany Cavallaro

Title of Poem: Our Routine, 2020

 

Honorable Mention: Sabine Wilson-Patrick

High School: Interlochen Arts Academy

Year in School: Senior

Sponsoring Teacher: Brittany Cavallaro

Title of Poem: Four the Blackened Reality

 

Tom Samet Fiction Prize

 

First Place: Lilian Freundl

High School: Oxford Virtual Academy

Year in School: Sophomore

Sponsoring Teacher: Caitlin Martin

Title of Story: The Little Lighthouse

 

Second Place: Madelyn Dietz

High School: Interlochen Arts Academy

Year in School: Senior

Sponsoring Teacher: Mika Perrine

Title of Story: Bracken

 

Third Place: Peter Schrier

High School: Saginaw Arts and Sciences Academy

Year in School: Junior

Sponsoring Teacher: Karen Horwath

Title of Story: My Poor Feet Have Traveled a Hot, Dusty Road

 

Honorable Mention: Braijene Fletcher

High School: Detroit School of Arts

Year in School: Senior

Sponsoring Teacher: Jennifer Leija

Title of Story: His Closure