Elizabeth Greco '14 Wins Anna Sonder Prize of the Academy of American Poets

April 29, 2013

Anna SonderThe Hartwick College Department of English and Theatre Arts is pleased to announce the winner of the 2012-13 Anna Sonder Prize of the Academy of American Poets:  Elizabeth Greco '14. Greco took home the top prize for her poem, "Girl."

This year's Anna Sonder Prize competition attracted more than 100 poems from Hartwick students. Judging this year's competition were Assistant Professor of English Julia Suarez Hayes and Professor of English Dr. Thomas Travisano.

Otto Sonder, late Professor Emeritus of Sociology, endowed a prize in 1978 for the best poem written by a student at Hartwick College, to be awarded annually by the College under the auspices of the Academy of American Poets in New York City. Hartwick College became a permanent member of AAP, which was founded in 1934 and is the largest organization in the country dedicated to advancing the art of poetry. To fulfill this mission, the Academy administers a wide variety of programs, including the college prize program, which includes Hartwick College's Anna Sonder Prize. The prize honors the memory of Sonder's mother, who died in 1978.

Greco's name will be published in the College literary magazine, Word of Mouth. The College will also recognize Greco at Honors Convocation on May 8, 2013 for "Girl," which can be read below:


Home from campus, I head to the shower to scrub

the day out of my hair. In Cuzco, this frizz was just light enough

to ensure that I stood out in the streets, an orange
hanging from banana-tree branches. Gringa, gringa! White girl.

Blonde girl. Eyes-that-are-not-brown girl.
From-los estados-but-still-speaks-Spanish

girl. 20-years-old-but-no-tiene-hijas girl. But
in the immediate world outside this tub, I'm

went-to-Peru-and-won't-shut-up girl.

girl. So why don't you just go back there,
Girl? My shower curtain is a map of the world-

a puzzle of colored land-chunks that I visit
as I lather. With soapy hands I can crinkle the oceans,

turn continents to neighbors. Orange next to yellow;
blue right there with green. When South America

meets our East Coast, I'll dry my hair and walk on over.
But I'll have to sew the soapy slickness because as soon as I let go,

the crinkly plastic hangs, heavy with the weight
of continents  and water, and the countries fall back into place.

And I don't want to be


For additional information, contact Hartwick College Professor of English and Chair of the Prize Committee Dr. Robert Bensen at 607-431-4902 or

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Hartwick College is a private liberal arts and sciences college of 1,500 students, located in Oneonta, NY, in the northern foothills of the Catskill Mountains. Hartwick's expansive curriculum emphasizes an experiential approach to the liberal arts. Through personalized teaching, collaborative research, a distinctive January Term, a wide range of internships, and vast study-abroad opportunities, Hartwick ensures that students are prepared for not just their first jobs, but for the world ahead. A Three-Year Bachelor's Degree Program and strong financial aid and scholarship offerings keep a Hartwick education affordable.

Contact: Valerie Capullo
Phone: 607-431-4031