UNI Instructional Developer wins poetry prize

UNI Continuing Education and Special Programs is pleased to announce that Joanna Thompson-Yezek, Instructional Developer, recently received 2nd place in the James Hearst Poetry Prize. “We are so very proud of Joanna and honored to know such an incredibly talented poet! Joanna’s creativity is reflected in the outstanding work she does to support faculty and students,” said Belle Cowden, Director of Continuing and Distance Education.

Joanna’s poem, ‘Iowa Farm Sale,’ along with works from other winners and finalists, was published in the Spring 2013 North American Review, the nation’s oldest literary magazine.

The James Hearst Poetry Prize entries were read blind and judged by H.L. Hix, author of the verse biography Incident Light and teacher at the University of Wyoming. “Each detail in ‘Iowa Farm Sale’ is at the scale of personal perceptual experience, but the whole opens out onto the conditions that created the event recounted,” said Hix, “Consequently, the poem observes one auction of one farm, but bears witness to the conditions that made one sale inevitable and by no means singular.”

James Hearst, for which the contest is named, was a local poet of the Cedar Valley who’s work centered around telling the story of Iowa farm life. More than 600 poems were published during his 83-year lifetime.

Thompson-Yezek’s poetry has also been published in Midwestern Gothic and she recently performed a reading during The Creative UNIversity Conference and Celebration at the University of Northern Iowa.

Learn more about North American Review, published at the University of Northern Iowa since 1968.