School of Arts & Sciences Faculty Wins Poetry Award

School of Arts & Sciences Faculty Wins Poetry Award

Donna Glass

OSU Institute of Technology communications instructor, Donna Glass, has received the 2018 Patricia Dobler Poetry Award, sponsored by Carlow University's Madwomen in the Attic Creative Writing Workshops.

The Patricia Dobler Poetry Award is an annual contest open to female writers over the age of 40 who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents, currently living in the U.S., who have not published a full-length book of poetry, fiction or nonfiction.

As a recipient of the Patricia Dobler Poetry Award, Glass received round-trip travel and lodging to Pittsburg, PA for a reading with Judge Judith Vollmer this past March. She also received $1000 and publication in Voices from the Attic.

How did you hear about the award?

Just before Thanksgiving, Jan Beatty, Director of the MFA Program and Madwomen in the Attic Writing Workshops at Carlow University, called my cellphone. I had won the 2018 Patricia Dobler Poetry Award. Ecstatic, I howled in her ear. I will never forget her voice or how kind she was.

Have you entered for other awards in the past?

I entered an Academy of American Poets contest offered through the English department at Oklahoma State University a few times.

Have you won other poetry awards?

I received an honorable mention for the first poem sent to the Academy of American Poets contest. 

What made you want to enter the Patricia Dobler Poetry Award?

A bright yellow contest postcard arrived in the mail. This contest also appeared in Poets & Writers Magazine. I had been struggling with writer’s block for a few years, wondering if my writing mattered in the larger scheme of things. The postcard was a reminder I belong to various schools of feminists who continue the work begun by Sandra Gilbert and Susan Gubar. Compelled to answer the postcard, I began writing again and entered the contest.

What got you started writing poetry?

I remember learning the alphabet—vocalizing a vowel or consonant sound while engraving a row of letters into a writing tablet using a worn-out pencil that tried my patience when the metal ferrule ripple-scraped the paper. I also remember playing trumpet in the sixth-grade band and beyond, the glossy yellow music stand my dad built of lumber on his vacation from the auto parts store, and moments of pure happiness during long practice sessions of hard work. These things got my poetry started.

Why do you think something like this is important to OSUIT and the students that attend?

I care about the progress of OSUIT. Like other individuals who know what it feels like to labor and sweat over personal projects related to their teaching subjects, I hope my achievements will increase the energy which fuels the dreams of the working class.

Can you tell about your visit to receive your award?

My mother and I flew from Oklahoma to Pittsburgh and met Jan Beatty, Judith Vollmer, and several other accomplished and powerful women who treated us as sisters. Their kindness and humanity, their feminism in practice, and their fierce individualism continue to resonate. Jan Beatty, a tireless force at Carlow University and a great leader of the human race, was a much-appreciated companion throughout the reading and other events. I am so grateful to have met her and Judith Vollmer and hope to keep in touch.

Is there anything additional you would like to add?

I am deeply moved by the support and collegiality of the writers, teachers, and dean at Carlow University’s English department, Creative Writing Program, and Women’s and Gender Studies Program. As I join the Madwomen, these words of Joseph Campbell come to mind: “When we follow our bliss, we are met by a thousand unseen helping hands,” and “Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors for you where there were only walls.”