Wash­ing­ton Col­lege names fi­nal­ists for lit­er­ary prize


Spe­cial from the Newark Post

— A 19-yearold University of Delaware stu­dent was at­tacked by a rideshare driver on Tues­day night, cam­pus police said.

The in­ci­dent hap­pened at 10 p.m. as the stu­dent was be­ing dropped off in the park­ing lot of Ge­orge Read Res­i­dence Hall on Laird Cam­pus.

The driver and the stu­dent be­gan ar­gu­ing, and the con­flict turned vi­o­lent, said Capt. Ja­son Pires, spokesman for UD Police.

“They had a dis­agree­ment, and it es­ca­lated from there,” Pires said, de­clin­ing to elab­o­rate on de­tails of the ar­gu­ment.

The driver, later iden­ti­fied as 32-year-old New Cas­tle resident Yolande Mcal­lis­ter, at­tempted to choke the sus­pect and struck him sev­eral times, Pires said. The stu­dent was taken to Chris­tiana Hos­pi­tal, where he was treated for face and neck in­juries and re­leased.

Mcal­lis­ter drove away, but wit­nesses gave police his de­scrip­tion and li­cense plate num­ber, Pires said. Of­fi­cers went to his home and ar­rested him with­out in­ci­dent.

Mcal­lis­ter is charged with third-de­gree as­sault, stran­gu­la­tion and dis­or­derly con­duct. He was com­mit­ted to the Howard Young Cor­rec­tional In­sti­tu­tion.

Pires con­firmed that Mcal­lis­ter works for a rideshare ser­vice, in which cus­tomers use a smart­phone app to re­quest a ride. Pop­u­lar ser­vices in­clude Uber and Lyft, but Pires would not say what com­pany Mcal­lis­ter works for, nor did he say where the stu­dent had been picked up.


— Five Wash­ing­ton Col­lege se­niors, ma­jor­ing in dis­ci­plines rang­ing from English to an­thro­pol­ogy, are fi­nal­ists for the largest un­der­grad­u­ate lit­er­ary award in the coun­try. The col­lege will award its So­phie Kerr Prize on Fri­day dur­ing an even­ing cer­e­mony on the Ch­ester­town cam­pus.

This year’s prize is val­ued at $65,770.

As stip­u­lated by Kerr’s will, the prize check it­self will be awarded the next day as part of the col­lege’s com­mence­ment.

The best-known com­po­nent of the ex­tra­or­di­nary legacy of East­ern Shore na­tive Kerr, a pro­lific and pop­u­lar writer of the early 20th cen­tury, the So­phie Kerr Prize goes to the se­nior who shows the great­est prom­ise for a fu­ture in lit­er­ary en­deavor. Prize hope­fuls sub­mit port­fo­lios of work in any genre, which are cri­tiqued by mem­bers of the English depart­ment.

Po­etry, es­says, short stories, aca­demic writ­ing and scripts that ex­plored top­ics from dogs and God to gen­der and re­la­tion­ships were sub­mit­ted this year from a to­tal of 20 stu­dents.

Pro­fes­sor Kathryn Mon­crief, chair­man of the English depart­ment and the So­phie Kerr Com­mit­tee, said the prize com­mit­tee was es­pe­cially im­pressed by the range and bold­ness, as well as the high qual­ity, of this year’s fi­nal­ists.

“These stu­dents were push­ing the bound­aries. There was a breadth of gen­res, vis­ual im­ages, book-arts projects — a great deal of sig­nif­i­cant ex­per­i­men­ta­tion and dar­ing with form and genre,” she said in a news re­lease the col­lege is­sued Mon­day.

The fi­nal­ists will read from their work at 7 p.m. Fri­day in Decker Theatre of the Daniel Z. Gib­son Cen­ter for the Arts. Roy Ke­sey ’91 will of­fer re­marks and an­nounce the award win­ner.

The event is free and open to the pub­lic. For those un­able to at­tend, the en­tire event will be streamed through the col­lege web­site. Find the link for the stream­ing on the home page at www.wash­coll. edu or go di­rectly to www:// livestream. com/ wash­coll/ So­phieKerr.

The fi­nal­ists are listed here, in al­pha­bet­i­cal or­der.

Cock­eysville resident Nicolas An­stett, a 22-year-old English ma­jor with a dou­ble mi­nor in cre­ative writ­ing and busi­ness, was in­volved in a va-


ri­ety of writ­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties dur­ing his four years at Wash­ing­ton — in­clud­ing the stu­dent news­pa­per, The Elm. He won the 2016 Lit­er­ary House Genre Fic­tion Prize for his short story “A Re­port on Cen­tral’s Op­er­a­tion Con­ducted in Nairobi, Kenya-July 12, 2016.” He also starred in nu­mer­ous stu­dent the­atri­cal pro­duc­tions, in­clud­ing “Equus” and “Boxes.”

An­stett’s writ­ing port­fo­lio com­bines screen­play/video, cre­ative non­fic­tion and fic­tion to ex­plore per­sonal themes of se­crets, young adult­hood and queer iden­tity. Af­ter grad­u­a­tion, he plans to con­tinue pro­duc­ing cre­ative works in the city of Bal­ti­more.

Rachel Brown, a 21-yearold His­panic stud­ies and an­thro­pol­ogy dou­ble-ma­jor and cre­ative writ­ing mi­nor, grew up in Me­chan­icsville and Wilm­ing­ton, Del. She served as ed­i­tor-in-chief of The Col­le­gian, and as a leader of the Día de Fút­bol Com­mit­tee and the Sto­ryQuest Oral His­tory Pro­gram. She also achieved dis­tinc­tion as a mem­ber of Phi Beta Kappa, Sigma Delta Pi, Lambda Al­pha and the Cater So­ci­ety of Ju­nior Fel­lows.

She sub­mit­ted a port­fo­lio that in­cluded es­says, po­etry, fic­tion and ex­per­i­men­tal forms.

Af­ter grad­u­a­tion, she will be­gin work as an ad­min­is­tra­tive as­sis­tant at Na­tional Geo­graphic. Ul­ti­mately, she would like to re­turn to South Amer­ica through a Ful­bright grant or Peace Corps ap­point­ment.

Reilly D. Cox, from West­min­ster, is a 22-year-old English and the­ater ma­jor with a cre­ative writ­ing mi­nor. He served as po­etry ed­i­tor for The Col­le­gian, a scenic shop as­sis­tant for the Gib­son Cen­ter for the Arts and a stu­dent man­ager for the mul­ti­me­dia pro­duc­tion cen­ter. He has re­ceived sev­eral hon­ors, in­clud­ing the 2016 Wil­liam W. Warner Prize for Cre­ative Writ­ing on Na­ture and the En­vi­ron­ment and the 2013 and 2016 Jude and Mariam Pfis­ter Po­etry Prizes, as well as a Ja­coby En­dow­ment Grant and a So­phie Kerr schol­ar­ship.

His writ­ing port­fo­lio in­cludes lyric es­says, fa­mil­ial po­ems, his play­writ­ing the­sis and his English the­sis on era­sure po­etry.

Af­ter grad­u­a­tion, he will at­tend the Buck­nell Sem­i­nar for Younger Po­ets, af­ter which he will con­tinue sev­eral writ­ing and travel projects.

Grace O’Con­nor, a 21-yearold from Cochec­ton, N.Y., is an English ma­jor with a cre­ative writ­ing mi­nor and an ed­u­ca­tion mi­nor with cer­ti­fi­ca­tion. She served as prose ed­i­tor for The Col­le­gian, par­tic­i­pated in the Mixed Mar­tial Arts Club, be­came a mem­ber of Sigma Tau Delta, acted and dra­maturged within the drama depart­ment, and was se­lected as a Mary­land Teacher of Prom­ise. She also was a tu­tor in the writ­ing cen­ter.

O’Con­nor’s writ­ing port­fo­lio in­cludes aca­demic es­says fo­cused on the pur­pose and craft of writ­ing as well as fic­tion and po­etry that ex­plore the tran­si­tions among frac­ture, trauma and re­cov­ery.

Af­ter grad­u­a­tion, she plans to take a gap year to ex­plore var­i­ous ed­u­ca­tion po­si­tions be­fore pur­su­ing a Mas­ter of Fine Art.

Alexan­dria Smythe is a 22-year-old English ma­jor and eco­nom­ics and cre­ative writ­ing mi­nor from Dover, Pa. She served as pres­i­dent of the English honor so­ci­ety Sigma Tau Delta and is a mem­ber of Phi Beta Kappa and Omi­cron Delta Ep­silon honor so­ci­eties. She worked in the writ­ing cen­ter and in­terned with The Sum­mer­set Re­view.

Her writ­ing port­fo­lio in­cludes a col­lec­tion of schol­arly es­says and fic­tional short stories.


Wash­ing­ton Col­lege’s So­phie Kerr Prize fi­nal­ists for 2016 are, from left, Ni­cholas An­stett, Reilly D. Cox, Grace O’Con­nor, Rachel Brown and Alexan­dria Smythe. They were an­nounced Mon­day, May 16. The win­ner will be named Fri­day.

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