The Department of English at the College of Staten Island has announced the winners of the Keyla Salgado Prize for Best Love Poem, as well as the recipients of the Rehberg Memorial Prize for the Best Group of Poems.

The Salgado Prize went to Elizabeth Murphy for “Postcard from Nowhere” (first place), Monette F. Grajo for “One Way” (second place), and Nancy Smith for “Just Like the Love You Have for Me” (third place). The Rehberg winners were Monette F. Grajo (first place), Casey R. Troeller (second place), and Elizabeth Murphy (third place).

Murphy says that she pulls information from circumstances and emotions that are occurring around her, as opposed to limiting her subject matter to her own experiences. Regarding the nature of her winning poem, Murphy states, “Whether it’s animosity, hatred, or love as we know it, there is a sort of love in everything if you go deeper and find it.” Her writings prompt the reader to consider difficult subject matter, such as domestic violence.

Grajo, a senior who came to the U.S. from the Philippines, notes “I write about my culture there, my culture here, what I’m becoming and what I used to be.” Her poems range from discussion of her older brothers to inner dialogue to sexual experience.

Cate MarvinThis year’s judge who was selected by CSI Professor of English Cate Marvin, who coordinates the awards, was Maurice Manning, a published poet and professor at the University of Indiana. Manning decided to make first-, second-, and third-place selections due to the difficulty of choosing the winners, but he also wanted “to encourage those students who were second or third. The students who placed,” he says, “should all be applauded for the rigor and originality of their expression.”

The English Dept. at CSI has announced the winners for Best Love Poem and the Best Group of Poems.