The 7th annual Paul Violi Prize in Poetry has been awarded to New School MFA in Creative Writing student Keri Smith. The second-prize winner is Joseph McClure, and honorable mention goes to Lea Anderson. The winners receive a cash prize and will be acknowledged at the Recognition Ceremony on May 18.
The prize, which is awarded annually to a MFA Poetry candidate, was founded in 2011 in remembrance of Paul Violi. This year submissions opened to both first- and second-year students. Violi was not only an esteemed and influential poet but a dedicated and caring teacher. He taught at The New School for many years before his passing in 2011. The Paul Violi Prize was established by Violi’s friends and family, who raised funds for an annual poetry award to be given to exceptional students in his honor.
Keri Smith moved from Florida to New York to pursue her MFA in Poetry with the Creative Writing Program at the New School. At night she works in various bars in Brooklyn and during the day reads and works for Hanging Loose Press. She finds the time to do literally everything.
Joseph McClure is an MFA candidate in the Creative Writing Program at The New School. He received his bachelor's degree in philosophy and cognitive science from the University of Michigan.
Lea Anderson is an MFA candidate in the Creative Writing Program at The New School. She is focusing in poetry. Her poetry and other writing can be found in Jai-Alai Magazine and Luna Luna Magazine.