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December 20, 2017

SVSU student receives creative writing award named after Saginaw poet Roethke

Brianna RivetSaginaw Valley State University student Bria Rivet has received a $2,000 award named in honor of the late Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Theodore Roethke. In addition, Rivet now is preparing to co-author a publication about the Saginaw-born writer.

The memory of Theodore Roethke has been honored through the Roethke Poetry and Arts Festival, coordinated by SVSU. This year's festival, which will include a series of arts events in the Great Lakes Bay Region, will take place March 23-28.

As part of the Festival, SVSU selects one student as the recipient of the Theodore Roethke Writing Award. Sponsored by the Friends of Theodore Roethke, an organization dedicated to preserving and promoting the legacy of Roethke, the award is granted to an outstanding SVSU student based on a creative writing portfolio of either poetry or fiction

Rivet, a creative writing and English literature double major from Bay City, received this award for her poetry portfolio as well as her promise for continued growth as a creative writer.

Vince Samarco, SVSU professor of English and a judge for the award, noted the following about Rivet's work:

"Bria's poetry displays a sharp, critical eye," he said. "That eye is concerned with lots of things, but it's mostly concerned with mapping the reaches of the male gaze - in art, thought and identity. The work is provocative and important."

Coincidentally, before she received news of the scholarship, Rivet and Joshua Atkins, an English literature major from Reese, had been working on a publication about Roethke and the memorial prize named for him.

"It is such an honor to win this award the same year that my name will be on a published book about this remarkable poet and his legacy," she said.

Rivet's publication will cover information about Roethke, including poetry and photos of the famous poet. The majority of the publication, however, will be comprised of biographies, photos, interviews, and selections of poetry from all 12 recipients of the Theodore Roethke Memorial Poetry Prize. 

At SVSU, Rivet also has earned other honors for her writing, including the Tyner Prize for poetry and the Seitz Creative Writing Scholarship in 2016.