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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Watermark Celebrates Release of 10th Edition

Photo by Michael Rhys

Photo by Michael Rhys

Finally, the Watermark has been released throughout campus, to the joy of many students and faculty. Now that the literary journas are being left in piles throughout various places in the school, for anyone to pick up and take with them, there is only one more thing that needs to be done: crown the winners.

The ceremony honoring the winner of each category of writing in the Watermark took place Tuesday, May 14, in the Harbor Art Gallery. A packed crowd was in attendance to listen to some of the writers read their own material, before the winners were announced.

The first reader was Steven Berbeco, with his fictional short piece entitled “I Never Liked Ice Cream Much as a Child.” If the title didn’t reveal anything, yes, it is a humorous piece about, you guessed it, his irrational hatred of the sweet cold stuff. The next reader was Michaela Horan, reading her poem that eventually won the Watermark’s poetry prize, entitled “Playstation.” “Playstation” is about a woman trying to get her boyfriend to pay attention to her, but he is too enraptured by his Playstation game to notice her, even when she is undressing for him. The third reader was Harmony Snedden, reading her poem entitled “See Sawing,” about a woman who has volunteered to prune tree limbs in a small town in Colorado and the discoveries she makes about her feelings for the tree while she is cutting it. The fourth reader was David Schiffer, who read his fictional piece “Stormy,” which won the Watermark’s award for fiction. “Stormy” is a downer of a story that takes the word downer to a different level. This story is also on a different level, regarding talent, than any other piece in the Watermark. If there is one story or poem you read in the Watermark, then let it be this. “Stormy” is proof that UMB has extremely talented writers, writers with a future in the business. Remember the name David Schiffer. If he stays true and active with his writing, we all could be hearing more about him in the future. Mr. Schiffer also read his poem entitled “Once,” about his grandfather who had survived the horrors of Nazi German death camps.

The fourth reader was the winner of the Watermark’s non-fictional category, Mike Marchand. His piece “Pedro Muerte” is about the death of an optimistic young man in Latin America. Marchand’s oftentimes blue-collar narrative is a delight to read or listen to and keeps your attention. Poet Darrell Penta read his piece “His Constitution,” about Pappy, a hardworking man with a family who is slowly giving up on everything. The last reader was Peter Wal, with his graphic and haunting detail of his fellow Sudanese people fleeing their war-torn country to the safety of Ethiopia. The recounting of the hardships of the fleeing men’s journey is very moving, especially to people who have kept up with the civil war in Sudan.

To repeat, the winners were Michaela Horan for the poetry section, David Schiffer for short fiction, and Mike Marchand for non-fiction. All of these writers have shown remarkable promise and creativity and all appear to have futures in the writing industry, though some more than others. A two-hundred dollar cash prize was given to the winner of each category, not to mention they each have something now to throw on their writing resumes, which should increase each of their chances of landing a decent literary agent if they decide to continue that path.

Thanks to the two editors of the Watermark, Nancy Derby and Diane Costagliola, for putting on the event. Thanks also to everyone who was brave enough to stand up in front of an audience, reaching close to one hundred people, and read their writings. Finally, thanks to all those in attendance for being such a well-behaved and respectful audience and to the Harbor Art Gallery for hosting the award ceremony.