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

The 2018 Benvenuto High School Poetry and Samet High School Fiction Competition winners (left to right): Elizabeth Shorkey (3rd, Fiction); Robert Bond (Honorable Mention, Fiction); Miracle Thornton (2nd, Poetry); Amelie Randall (3rd, Poetry); Athena Nassar (2nd, Fiction); Ash Freeman (1st & Honorable Mention, Poetry); Bianca Layog (1st, Fiction)

 

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. New in 2017 is the Tom Samet High School Fiction Competition, with prize donated by Barry Gross in memory of his esteemed friend Tom Samet.

Email us at cpoetry@msu.edu to register your school on our mailing list. The call for entries for the 2020 competition will be mailed to high schools in September 2020. The competition is open to all students who attend a Michigan high school. To download an entry package, click here

 

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 2019 Winners

 

Benvenuto Poetry Prize Winners:

First Place: Olivia Johnson

High School: Interlochen Arts Academy

Year in School: Senior

Sponsoring Teacher: Mika Perrine

Title of Poem: "family historian"

 

Second Place: Maia Siegel

High School: Interlochen Arts Academy

Year in School: Junior

Sponsoring Teacher: Brittany Cavallaro

Title of Poem:"I Have a Rage"

 

Third Place: Hannah Schoettmer

High School: Interlochen Arts Academy

Year in School: Senior

Sponsoring Teacher:Brittany Cavallaro

Title of Poem: "aeroponics"

 

Honorable Mention: Amiri Sykes

High School: Interlochen Arts Academy

Year in School: Freshman

Sponsoring Teacher: Brittany Cavallaro

Title of Poem: "Alternate Universe"

 

Samet Fiction Prize Winners:

First Place: Matthew Sauer

High School: Saginaw Arts and Sciences Academy

Year in School: Senior

Sponsoring Teacher: Karen Horwath

Title of Story: "Our Dreams Drink Coffee with Us"

 

Second Place: Quinn Murray

High School: Detroit Catholic Central

Year in School: Senior

Sponsoring Teacher: Kevin Griffin

Title of Story: "The Fly in Room 248"

 

Third Place: Jinxuan Jiang

High School: Interlochen Arts Academy

Year in School: Senior

Sponsoring Teacher: Mika Perrine

Title of Story: "Be Hushed"

 

Honorable Mention: Lydia Garcia

High School: Kenowa Hills High School

Year in School: Sophomore

Sponsoring Teacher: Lisa Botsford

Title of Story: "Drip, Drip, Drip"