Student Honored with National Poetry Award

Posted: April 9, 2018
Iryna Klishch '18

Denison student Iryna Klishch '18, an English writing major from Chicago, has been recognized with the Edna Meudt Memorial Award for the National Federation of State Poetry Societies (NFSPS). Klishch will receive $500, and her poetry will be published as a perfect-bound 6”x9” chapbook, titled “A Monster the Size of the Sun,” that will be marketed through Amazon.com. In addition, Klishch has an invitation to read from her work at the 2018 NFSPS Convention in Denver.

Klishch writes about an array of things, challenging conventional thought through themes of war, violence, pain. “I write with hints of magical realism, about worlds that are slightly different from the one we know, and yet that feel similar in the most haunting of ways.”

Words are, in many ways, the only thing I know,” she adds. “Moving from a small town of Nadvirna, Ukraine, to the outskirts of Chicago, I have often found myself torn between two worlds. But poetry — it is language that I often mistake for home. Poetry is urgent, all fists. It is both loud and quiet, clinging to syllables, to sound, to rhythm: getting stuck in teeth, burning, always. Poetry is the light in everything that is dark.”

I’m so proud of Iryna for her latest achievement, this nation-wide award from the NSFPS. It’s a fitting honor for her incredible gift and achievement,” said David Baker, author and professor of English. “I’ve been teaching and working with Denison student poets for more than thirty years, and she’s without doubt one of the two or three most promising poets I’ve ever seen here – and not just promising but, already, richly developed as a lyric poet with such wide formal aptitude and curiosity and such authentic narrative flair. Her work blends old-world magic and story-telling with very new-world circumstance and attitude. I can’t wait to hold ‘A Monster the Size of the Sun’ in my hands.”

Denison University unlocks the potential of our students to be architects of their own lives. Our college is built on a foundation of academic prestige and lasting relationships. We create pathways for our students to quickly make friends and find mentors. We help them figure out what kind of lives they want to lead and develop the skills, values, habits, networks, and experiences to launch into professions so they can build those lives. As Denison continues to build upon its strengths, our focus is on deepening mentorship; expanding the liberal arts curriculum; reinventing the career exploration process; and leveraging our close proximity to Columbus, one of the nation's best cities for the arts, internships, and entrepreneurship.

Read Iryna Klishch's Interview with Ohio Poetry Association.

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