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Press Release for Friday, January 16, 2015

UNF Students Take Top National League of American Pen Women Poetry Prizes

Jessica Scott, Public Relations Specialist

Department of Public Relations

(904) 620-2192

Two University of North Florida students took top prizes in the 2014 Frances Buck Sherman Memorial Award Poetry Competition, hosted by the Jacksonville branch of the National League of American Pen Women.


With the theme “Let It Go,” UNF senior Nikcole Wiles was the first-place winner for her poem, “Inhale, Exhale, Flick,” while Kristan Palermo, a UNF junior, won third place for her poem, “Delirious.” Both students were awarded a cash prize at the League’s January 10 meeting at Timuquana Country Club. The winning poems will be published in the League’s February newsletter, as well as the Jacksonville branch website .



“My favorite aspect of poetry is the ability of words to invoke empathy, which is a fundamental principle connecting people,” said Palermo, a UNF psychology major whose goal is to study how art impacts the brain.


“It’s always surprising and exciting to be honored. I hope the participation of all the talented writers in this competition encourages other students to involve themselves in the local writing community,” said Wiles, a UNF English major.


Since 1992, the Frances Buck Sherman Memorial Award has been presented semi-annually by the League to deserving recipients in honor of past president, artist and writer Fran Sherman. Judging the competition was writer Carolee Bertisch, a UNF Division of Continuing Education Osher Lifelong Learning Institute instructor and Eve Award finalist. This was the first poetry competition the League held in conjunction with the award. College students in Duval and St. Johns Counties were eligible to enter the poetry competition.



Organized in 1897, NLAPW has a national membership of more than 1,500 professional writers, musicians and visual artists. The Jacksonville branch was established in 1926 and seeks to double its membership and increase recognition of talented women in the community.



UNF, a nationally ranked university located on an environmentally beautiful campus, offers students who are dedicated to enriching the lives of others the opportunity to build their own futures through a well-rounded education.