Morris Poetry Prize awarded to Indiahoma student for second consecutive year

Cameron University student Seth Tyler Copeland of Indiahoma submitted the winning poem for the 2011 John G. Morris Poetry Prize, earning the award for the second consecutive year. Copeland received the $250 first prize for his poem, “Derelict.” Judge Ken Hada said that the winning poem "demonstrates control throughout," "provides a fresh feel," and its word choices "suggest…a tension between the desire for hope and the final 'gutted' realization." 

A second-place prize of $150 awarded to Colton Rowe, Cache, for his poem, "Take Me to the Healing Waters."  Of Rowe's poem, Hada said that it "has a musical quality…a somber, sacred hymnal repetition…There is an elegant, archaic feel that works well with the implied notion of ancestral lands."

Both Copeland's and Rowe's poems will appear in the upcoming issue of Cameron University's literary magazine, The Gold Mine. 

Judge Ken Hada, Associate Professor of English at East Central University in Ada, is the author of two volumes of poetry, “The Way of the Wind” and “Spare Parts.” The latter has been named Outstanding Book of Poetry for the 20011 Western Heritage Awards and continues to receive national attention. 

The John G. Morris Poetry Prize was established in 2006 by Dr. John Morris, Professor of English in honor of his mother, the late Marian Cary Miles Morris-Zepp. The competition is open each year to all undergraduate Cameron University students enrolled in the spring semester. Each student may submit up to five original, unpublished poems, which are judged on freshness and originality in idea, image and form; exact and precise execution of whatever the poet attempts; and use of the right words in the right order. 

Previous winners are Barbara Adams (2007), Jason Poudrier (2008), Joseph Pratt (2009), and Seth Tyler Copeland (2010).


April 13, 2011


The Derelict

By Seth Tyler Copeland

A painted ship off a painted ocean

Burnt love;
ashy, weatherbeaten rowboat
on a hill far away
with an old rusted cross,
some kind of disaster,
natural comedy
adorned with shedding paint,
white flecks littering
not-so-white sand,
gulls sing
a faraway dirge
to Poor Jack
and Poorer Jill,
still wearing her
old rusted cross,
reclining indefinitely
in a jumbled,
ugly embrace,
as gutted as their craft,
as pointless
as their sunset.

Take Me to the Healing Waters

by Colton Rowe

My old bones have come to fail me,
Fail me after many years,
Though through many trials they’ve led me,
Through many times of love and tears.
Take me to the healing waters,
Take me to the mountain sides
Of the mighty Wichitas, and
Let me feel the wind’s soft cries.
Let me hear the buffalo as they
Stampeded across the plains.
Let me hear the roaring
Of the mighty rivers as it rains.
The stars above shall be my compass,
They alone shall be my guide
As I traverse this untamed wild,
This ancient, untouched countryside.
When I come to the healing waters
In them I shall be reborn
And roam this untamed wilderness
Until the dawning on the morn.
So take me to the land of old times,
To the land of days long past,
Where Mother Nature’s bounty is plenty,
And her streams run ever fast.
Take me to the healing waters,
Where the life of all begins.
Take me to the land of old,
So I may be made young again.