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Literary Category Winners (2022)

1st place: No Justice, No Peace*
Will McDonnell
College of Liberal Arts, Criminal Justice

Description: This piece is a statement to how I have been feeling since late 2020, as things keep seeming to get worse. I obviously can’t fix the issue, so I figured through music I could at least acknowledge some of these problems going on, the irony/hypocrisy of America, and the occasional silver lining. This piece is meant to be similar to a spoken word in terms of its feel. I included sounds that could provide general overview/thematic meanings within 5-10 seconds timeframes. I started with JFK’s address because it’s a beautiful speech but also can be read off as sad and ironic, with much of what he was saying not fully coming to be. The end is supposed to symbolize how many of us are raised – we see America in a childlike way, and it is on us to learn ourselves out, hence what GSH said.


2nd place: The Block Is Quiet Tonight*
Mick Guile
Instagram: @mickhasguile
College of Liberal Arts, Criminal Justice

Description: The media often grapples with the idea of who “deserves” to be a victim of police brutality, and in a larger sense, who “deserves” to live or die in the name of justice and peace. People live complicated lives, far too complex to be understood by the masses or to be declared good or bad. “the block is quiet tonight” tries to capture one such instance of a nameless man as seen through the eyes of a child who can’t find it in himself to judge.


3rd place: “Peace be with (in) you”*
Brandon Janse Van Vuuren
Instagram: Photos.ofB
College of Liberal Arts, Psychology

Description: When I tried to define what “Peace” meant to me, I found myself in many different places. I realized peace is a concept that couldn’t really be put into one box, and I tried to reflect that idea in my poem.

*Do not use, reproduce, alter, etc.  without creator’s permission