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Fort Lewis College poet professor earns accolades at home and abroad

FLC's own Pam Uschuk added to her list of accolades with a top finish in the War Poetry Contest and an invite to Israel's Sha'ar Poetry Festival.
FLC's own Pam Uschuk added to her list of accolades with a top finish in the War Poetry Contest and an invite to Israel's Sha'ar Poetry Festival.

Renowned poet and Fort Lewis College Associate Professor of English Pam Uschuk has won the Winning Writer’s 2011 War Poetry Contest. Her three poems, "Horoscope," "White Phosphorus After Hanukkah," and "The Taliban Takes Pakistan," were all awarded first place in the contest.

Pam’s poems examined conflicts and the aftermath of conflicts from Africa to the Middle East to Asia. They also took a very personal turn as she talked about the effects that war has had on her own family.

“I come from a family with a strong military line,” she says. “My father, brother and nephew are veterans of three wars. I’ve seen PTSD up close, repeated and terrifying. Wars end, but the family tragedy does not end. The human devastation goes on for generations.”

Pam is an award-winning poet with works appearing in hundreds of publications all over the world. All of her poems show a depth and sensitivity to their subjects, and the three winners of the War Poetry Contest are no exception.

“It is important to me that my poems not merely skate across a beautiful surface but rather that they strike deep into the matter,” she explains. “I hope that my poems might affect some sort of positive change in the reader.”

In another honor, Pam and her husband were invited to travel to Israel over the Thanksgiving break to participate in the Sha’ar International Poetry Festival. The goal of the festival is to bring together artists from Muslim, Christian and Jewish cultures to help increase fellowship and understanding. The festival is sponsored by the Helicon Society for the Advancement of Poetry in Israel.

“I am utterly grateful that my husband, poet William Pitt Root, and I were invited to the Sha’ar Poetry Festival,” she says. “It is a huge honor, and I am deeply humbled by it.”

To read Pam’s winning entries in the War Poetry Contest, visit http://www.winningwriters.com/contests/war/2011/wa11_uschuk.php.

For more information on the Fort Lewis College Department of English, visit http://www.fortlewis.edu/english.

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