2016/2017 Winners

The English Department is pleased to announce the 2016/2017 winners of the Engage Writing Contest.  These writers grapple with difficult, personal, and relevant topics and they do so with style, attention to detail, and an obvious passion for writing.  You will find excerpts from their submissions below, but we hope that you will click on the documents to the right to read their full works.

Congratulations, winners, and we hope you will continue to write and to share your work with others!

1st Place: Lambert Shekanena

"A Bucket of Fried Chicken"

"One Tuesday after chapel service had concluded, a young brown haired girl dashed up to the pulpit as we were exiting, snatched the mic out of the dean’s hand and called us all to attention. She reached under the pulpit and pulled out a small, mustard yellow, woven basket filled to the brim with a mini watermelon, packets of grape Kool Aide, and a bucket of fried chicken. My eyes widened in terror as she proceeded to ask a young Black man to the banquet with her basket of microaggressions and they nearly burst out of their sockets when the brother said yes."

2nd Place: MaryAnne Flier

"With Liberty and Justice for Some"

"We must seek to change this narrative in our country. We must open our eyes to the systems that have been, and still are, in place to hold down or oppress people of color.  To begin, as Ms. Uwan stated, we must work tirelessly to know the reality that faces people of color, to really listen to their stories, to live in community with them. In doing this, we are unable to subconsciously keep them relegated as “others” in our minds any longer, and are truly able to squelch any implicit biases we hold. This is truly a crucial first step to racial justice.  A sometimes-painful, but absolutely necessary, first step."

3rd Place: James King


"So there was conception. I don't remember it. And then I was born, like all of you, crippled and stupid, with a vast cavern of mind to fill with memories, conclusions, judgments: a warehouse where we build the store of implements with which we nightly torture ourselves in our dreams."