Sixteen undergraduates were recognized during this year’s Giovanni-Steger Poetry Prize Ceremony, which took place February 21 in the Anne and Ellen Fife Theatre of the Moss Arts Center.

Winners of the 2023 Giovanni-Steger Poetry Prize were:

  • Joshua Ward, Wildlife Conservation, was awarded first prize, $1,500, and “The Steger,” a piece of art crafted by Virginia Tech students at the Kroehling Advanced Materials Foundry on campus, for his poem, “The Drawing Night.”
  • Makenna DeTorres, Creative Writing, received the second-place prize of $800 for “Read. Unread.”
  • Third-place honors were shared by Rowan Lacey, Psychology, for “Seaweed Green” and Kayla Bourret, Creative Writing, for “Doing and Undoing”; each student received a prize of $500.

The winning poems will be published in an upcoming edition of the poetry publication Artemis Journal.

Recognized as finalists were:

  • Kaitlyn Grube, Creative Writing
  • Joe Hughes III, Creative Writing
  • Shruthi Manimaran, English, Creative Writing, and Professional and Technical Writing
  • Nya Nesbit, Psychology
  • Grace Turner, Creative Writing
  • Maria Ziu, Physics

Honorable mentions were:

  • Calvin Brown, Aerospace Engineering
  • Reid Burton, Marketing
  • Eira Calderon, Industrial Design
  • Cassandra Cogan, International Relations
  • Grace Daniels, English, Creative Writing, and Professional and Technical Writing
  • Emelia Delaporte, Professional and Technical Writing and Multimedia Journalism

The competition was founded in 2006 by University Distinguished Professor Emerita of English Nikki Giovanni and named in part for its first benefactor and late Virginia Tech President Charles W. Steger. Aileen Murphy, a senior instructor in the Department of English, directs the event.