McMicken College of Arts & SciencesUniversity of Cincinnati

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Poetry Prize Goes To McMicken English Major

“I was stunned, thrilled, and remained relieved,” said PhD student Sophia Kartsonis upon learning that she had won the Stan and Tom Wick prize for Intaglio, her full-length volume of poetry.

Date: 8/18/2005
By: Billie Dziech
Phone: 513 / 556.1707
“I was stunned, thrilled, and remained relieved,” said PhD student Sophia Kartsonis upon learning that she had won the Stan and Tom Wick prize for Intaglio, her full-length volume of poetry. Awarded for a first book of poems, the honor includes $2000 and 2006 publication of the work by Kent State University. The poet Eleanor Wilner acted as judge of the more than 500 entries.


Written in “very roughly three sections,” Intaglio contains poems about women Kartsonis characterizes as “very much like my mother and her mother,” works about color and art, and poetry focusing on the Russian poet Marina Tsvetayeva and her relationship with her daughter.

She also writes short stories and essays but says that she has been “seriously focused on poetry for around ten years.” She adds, “I’ve been sending the book out for several years to numerous contests and presses. I found out about the award when I was back home visiting my family and friends, and that really sweetened the win.”

“Back home” is Salt Lake City, where Kartsonis completed her undergraduate work. From there she moved to the University of Alabama to earn a master of fine arts degree. She was attracted to McMicken’s PhD program in English because of the faculty. “My initial visit here sealed it,” she recalls.

In spite of having just won a prestigious award, Kartsonis’ expectations are, for the present at least, modest: “More of the same – teaching and writing – but maybe with enough money for coffee on tap or cable television or salsa and olives, at least.”

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