A poetry manuscript by Hendrix College creative writing major/religious studies minor Jacie Andrews ’20 has been selected as winner of the National Federation of State Poetry Societies’ Florence Kahn Memorial Award.
The manuscript, Sweetwork, earned Andrews a $500 cash prize, publication of her work plus 75 free copies, and a $300 stipend for travel to the NFSPS Annual Conference in June to read her poetry. Unfortunately, the 2020 NFSPS Conference was canceled recently due to the corona virus pandemic. Andrews’ Sweetwork will be published in June as a perfect-bound 6” x 9” chapbook and marketed through Amazon.com. She will receive all proceeds from her book’s sales.
Dawn Leas, judge of NFSPS’ 2020 College Undergraduate Poetry Competition, offered the following assessment of Andrews’s writing:
“Sweetwork brims with diction, language, and imagery that immediately pulls the reader into a specific time or scene to learn more about what it means to have faith or to question it; what it means to keep going or give up; what it means to have an abundance of or very little hope. The poems are lean yet full of lyrical lines that often break into a run to the finish line. ‘Magic’ ends with: ‘But nobody pays / attention when you / are usually good / And I was usually good.’ Pay attention to Sweetwork. It’s so much more than ‘usually good.’”
Murphy Visiting Fellow in Poetry Dr. Erin Hoover encouraged Andrews to submit her work after having her as a poetry student.
“Jacie has written a collection that challenges and pays homage to rural Southern life,” Hoover said. “These sensory, character-driven poems whose people know ‘damn well that / slice and salt was always / our only instruction’ offer those who have been denied power the chance to discover it, perhaps even the opportunity to heal.”
Andrews, a Springfield, Arkansas native who has spent summers during college in Florissant, Colorado, serves as the Hendrix Creative Writing Program’s student assistant, as social media intern for the C.D. Wright Women Writers Conference, and as committee chair for Word Garden, a reading series featuring the best in Hendrix student creative writing.