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ASU Student Receives Truman Capote Literary Trust Award in Creative Writing Based on Her Poetry

May 9, 2012. Kathryn Kehoe of Cary has been awarded the Truman Capote Literary Trust Award in Creative Writing for 2012-13. The Appalachian State University student is a senior English major with a creative writing concentration. 

Kehoe was awarded a $2,900 scholarship based on a poetry competition judged by poet Peter Blair from UNC-Charlotte.

Kimber A. Campbell, a senior psychology major, was named a runner-up in the competition and Miranda Mash, a junior English major, received honorable mention.

Blair wrote that Kehoe’s poems “have a delicacy and moral commitment to their characters and their subjects,” he said. “This poet cares about the world and what’s right or wrong in the world. The sounds and line breaks in the poems underpin this delicate listening to the soul and what it means to be human.”

Kehoe’s poetry submissions were “Beloved,” “The Felt Maker,” “Learning to Eat Sardines Again” and “Learning Wifely Obedience in 16th Century England.”

“In ‘The Felt Maker,’ the music of the lines and the assured delicacy of the line breaks convey the ritual of felt-making, how a woman wraps wool around a seashell to make felt,” Blair wrote. 

“In ‘Learning to Eat Sardines Again’ and ‘Learning Wifely Obedience in 16th Century England,’ the poet uses images of sardines cans and the story of Griselda, respectively, to reflect the perils of love and marriage. The care and attention to moral detail makes the poems have resonance and felt life,” Blair wrote.

Of Campbell’s writing, he said these “poems have a wide and surprising range of subject matter, from Chinese fishing to an old world cathedral to Irish dancing. Each poem tries to capture that culture or activity with characteristic forms and sounds that embody the subject and spirit of place. In the best poems, certain lines have a nice quality of internal rhyme, and there is a striking tension and energy.”

Named for the author of the novels “In Cold Blood” and “Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” the Truman Capote Literary Trust Award in Creative Writing was established at Appalachian by contributions from the Truman Capote Literary Trust to support the Department of English’s creative writing concentration. The competition is open to juniors and seniors who have a concentration in creative writing. Next year’s competition will be for creative prose.