April 29, 2024

UMass Amherst undergraduate students Andrea Peter ’25 and Livvy Krakower ’24 were among the 2024 Five College Prose and Poetry Prize recipients honored at a reading and reception April 18 in Hampshire College's Harold F. Johnson Library.

Celebrating creative writing of all genres, the Five College Prose and Poetry Prize, formerly PoetryFest, was reinstated in 2023 after a hiatus due to the pandemic. The contest received 150 total submissions from students representing UMass Amherst, Amherst, Hampshire, Mount Holyoke and Smith colleges, and The Care Center of Holyoke this year.

“For me the most amazing thing about the Five College Poetry and Prose competition is to meet fellow writers from other institutions,” says Krakower, a winner for prose who is an English major and who also won the prize in 2023. “Each college in the consortium is so unique and I am thankful that I have been able to hear pieces I would never hear if not for the competition.”

Peter, a comparative literature major, won a poetry prize in the competition.

“Thanks to Five Colleges, Inc., and our English departments for supporting this work,” says Donna LeCourt, chair of the UMass Amherst English department. “Prizes to undergraduates are important and help to build their reputations in literary and professional communities. The opportunity for our graduate students to judge and manage literary awards provides exceptional professional development and helps distinguish them as creative leaders. I’m happy to see this prize come back to the Five College community.”

“I had a wonderful time judging the prose prize,” says 2024 prose judge and UMass Amherst MFA candidate Danielle Bradley, who was joined on the judging panel by fellow UMass Amherst MFA candidate and poet Ide Thompson ’24. “All of the submissions were impressive, and it was so special to hear many of the winners read their submissions at the reception.”