Student Slam Poets Grab Two of Three Top Spots

Monica Prince, Amelia Garcia at Sandburg Days Rootabaga Poetry Slam

June 28, 2011

Prince, Miller, GarciaKnox College students captured two of the three awards at the 5th annual Rootabaga Poetry Slam this spring, held as part of Galesburg's annual Sandburg Days Festival. Shown at right with the first place winner, George Miller of Galesburg (center), are students Monica Prince, second place (left), and Amelia Garcia, third place.

The campus newspaper, The Knox Student, detailed the competition, held in April at Cherry Street Restaurant and Bar in Galesburg:

"After three rounds, it came down to three [poets]: Prince, Garcia and Miller.

"In the end, Miller took the prize with brevity. His final poem was a simple and lovely ode to his wife. It was no more than five lines long, but it was enough to move the judges to give him 28 total points, beating Garcia and Prince by mere tenths of a point.

April Prince"Prince and Garcia had gained confidence through the first two rounds, and had saved their best for last.

"Prince's selection of poems in each round told a story when put together, the first being about the ecstasy of love in a place of comfort, the second expressing the pain of detachment from that love on a plane overseas and the third giving a vividly beautiful description of her life in Senegal, sharing with her listeners her journey towards self-discovery.

"Garcia added to the uplifting atmosphere with a poem about the pride and security in being oneself..."

GarciaThe competition, organized by "Slampapi" Marc Kelly Smith, drew 13 poets, including residents of the area and students from Knox and Monmouth colleges. For the past two years Prince, an educational studies and creative writing major from Lakewood, Colorado, has read poetry at Knox's annual King Day Convocation (above right), while Garcia, a political science major from Stillman Valley, Illinois, read poetry to open this year's Lincoln Fest on campus in April (below right).

Founded in 1837, Knox is a national liberal arts college in Galesburg, Illinois, with students from 48 states and 51 countries. Knox's "Old Main" is a National Historic Landmark and the only building remaining from the 1858 Lincoln-Douglas debates.