Northwest Florida State College Announces 2021 Blackwater Review and LaRoche Poetry Contest Winners

The winners of the 35th Annual James and Christian LaRoche Memorial Poetry Contest and the Blackwater Review art and literature journal have been announced for 2021.

Fiona Morris of Santa Rosa Beach, won first place and a cash prize of $100 for her poem Summers in the Screen Room.

Madison Gray of Freeport, placed second with her poem Mea Culpa. Gray will be awarded a cash prize of $50.

Two poems tied for third place with a cash prize of $25 each.

Carter Hyde of Fort Walton Beach, tied for third place with his poem Prayer for Dionysus at a Party. In addition to winning the first-place prize, Fiona Morris also tied for third place with her poem Seed, Berry, Love.

The winning poems from the LaRoche Memorial Poetry Contest will be published in April in the 2021 issue of Blackwater Review, along with other artwork and writings from current NWFSC students.

“This year’s issue of Blackwater Review shows that art and literature persevere even in the face of a pandemic,” said Blackwater Review Managing Editor, Dr. Vickie Hunt. “The writing and art work contained in the 2021 Blackwater Review give us hope, which starts with our cover art that suggests a return to the coffee shop, a place to sip and chat with friends again.”

Blackwater review winners for 2021 include:

Fiona Morris for prose, Ella Joslin for poetry and Hannah Schloemp for cover art.

“The Blackwater Review highlights the finest art and prose coming from our students,” said Dr. Devin Stephenson. “This year, our students show that their light will not be suppressed in the face of adversity as they share their hopeful words and images for the world to see.”

For 35 years the LaRoche name has been associated with poetry at NWFSC. In 1986, Christian LaRoche instituted the James N. LaRoche Memorial Poetry Contest to honor her late husband, who was a poet and an instructor at the college from 1968-1983.  The name was changed after the death of Christian LaRoche, when the LaRoches’ son, Frederic, changed the name to the James and Christian LaRoche Memorial Poetry Contest in honor of both of his parents and their commitment to the writing arts.

The James and Christian LaRoche Memorial Poetry Contest is an annual contest open to all NWFSC undergraduates.

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