News from Montgomery College

900 Hungerford Drive, Suite 200, Rockville, MD 20850 

Date: November 16, 2004 (04-106) 

Poetry Contest Winners Highlighted in New Potomac Review 

           The new fall/winter issue of Potomac Review highlights the winners of the literary magazine’s 9th Annual Poetry Contest, judged by E. Ethelbert Miller, a longtime member of the Washington, D.C. poetry community. Winning poet Jenifer Browne Lawrence, from the state of Washington, is the winner of the contest’s $1,000 prize. Runners-up Shawna St. Leigh and Nancy Tupper Ling also have their work published in this issue.

           The theme of the issue is “Liberties,” in recognition of the fact that this year the nation marks the 50th anniversary of a significant milestone in our country’s battle for liberty and equality for all: Brown v. Board of Education, the United States Supreme Court’s 1954 decision making school segregation illegal by declaring that separate facilities were inherently not equal.   

            The Liberties section leads off with a memoir by Clarissa T. Sligh, who was a teenager in Arlington, Virginia at that time, and whose grandson, N’Dri, today attends Arlington public schools. Her story goes back to her mother, who grew up in North and South Carolina. The horrors of segregation and its accompanying violence that she experienced as a child formed her into a person with the fortitude to put her children on the frontline as test cases for school integration in their community. Sligh, who is a book artist and photographer now working in New York, also provides moving images to accompany her story. 

             Other writers in this section look at the ways immigrants try to fit into our culture. Some examine how people flee painful pasts; others write of being imprisoned by love, religion or gender. Some write of the effects of spousal or child abuse; still others look at lives enriched and freed by love. The issue’s stories and essays also focus on children growing into recognition of what it means to be adults and adults who take a very long time to choose their own lives and paths; people taking risks as they learn the boundaries between freedom and safety; and those who have achieved the freedom, in old age, to be themselves.  The Crossroads section offers readers a further collection of stories, essays and poems propelled by the current events interacting with lives in 2004.  

              The work of Montgomery College art students from Art Professor John Carr's printmaking classes on the Rockville Campus contributed significantly to this issue. Art Editor Ken Jassie and Photography Editor Anne Benolken, both faculty members at the college, have selected powerful images by Doris Eisen, Yeon Hee Ji, F.M. Leahy, Choney Nelson, Lena Ruano, Howard Tchou, and Walter L. Williams to accompany the writing. Local artist J.S. Lee, a Montgomery College student, is featured on the magazine’s cover and a portfolio of images of her work is included inside.   

               Copies of Potomac Review are available at the campus bookstore, the Writer’s Center in Bethesda, and by subscription. For more information, please see Potomac Review’s website:        

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Montgomery College is a public, open admissions community college with campuses in Germantown, Rockville, and Takoma Park, plus workforce development/continuing education centers and off-site programs throughout Montgomery County. The College serves nearly 50,000 students a year, through both credit and noncredit programs, in more than 100 areas of study.