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2023 Virginia Rucker Walter Poetry Prize Winners

The Creative Writing Program is eager to announce this year's Virginia Rucker Walter Poetry Prize winners. This year, 1 winner and 2 runners up were selected out of 70 applicants by judge and alumna Dr. Ginger Ko. Please see the winners below along with Ginger's comments about their outstanding work:


1st Place: Alex Hoefer

Alex Hoefer sits straddling a chair, holding an analog camera

About the work:

"[Alex Hoefer's poem] is a sly and steady poem, weaving together multilingualism, family, and memory in the overall fabric of storytelling and the relationships that make changes to narratives. The form of the poem is as thin as a thread, but as flexible too, driving readers along its unspooling. This poem is a marvel. Its presence on the page feels full and alive." 


About the author:

Alexander Hoefer is a Sabahan-American writer and filmmaker majoring in Entertainment & Media Studies and English. He specializes in the conceptualization and production of martial arts and fashion films, and is especially interested in the potential for videographic/literary arts to host multicultural and multilingual conversation. When he is not producing or writing movies, he enjoys drawing, practicing martial arts, and dancing, with a particular passion for Latin styles such as Argentine Tango.




2nd Place: Hampton Henderson

Hampton Henderson

About the work:

"...invites readers into this delightful space of play that is also fraught with a voice that deprecates itself as well as what it observes. This poem is borne from an idiosyncratic perspective, but this perspective is a conversant one; it welcomes us into the sonic pleasures of language and meaning." 


About the author:

Hampton Henderson is a 4th year undergraduate student studying English with an emphasis in creative writing on track to graduate Spring 2023. His current plan is to be a waiter somewhere for a year or so and then to possibly apply for PhD programs at some point following that waiter period. He loves the intersection between art and technology.




3rd Place: Jason Hawkins

Jason Hawkins


About the work:

"...draws images so vividly that their inherent threat emanates like an aura from the text. Still, the language remains elegant; the lens of the poem is poised in its recognition of destabilization and complexity."


About the author:

Jason Hawkins is a poet, short fiction writer, and student at the University of Georgia studying English and Japanese Language and Literature. He's been passionate about writing and storytelling his entire life, and he hopes to grow as a writer in years to come. He has had poetry published in Stillpoint Literary Magazine. He's most interested in speculative short fiction and twentieth-century poetry. He loves RPGs, horror, and films




About this year's judge:

Dr. Ginger Ko (Ph.D., University of Georgia) is the author of the full-length collection Motherlover, as well as four chapbooks: Inherit; Comorbid; Ghosts, Models, Visions; and How Glossy the Plastic. She also hold degrees from the University of Wyoming, Indiana University, and UCLA. She has taught courses in writing and Women’s Studies since 2012, and she actively publishes and conducts research in new media writing, feminist poetics, and activist writing and art. She is currently an Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at Sam Houston State University, Texas. 



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