The DPS at Camden County College is preparing for the annual Poetic Idol contest.

The 2011 Idol winner was Jennifer Tharp, who won for her poem The Peach Orchard.

The event allows students to showcase their best pieces of writing.
A panel of department faculty members, including the club’s faculty advisor, Keith O’ Shaughnessy, will judge each student’s work.

The contest is scheduled for Dec. 13 at 6:30 p.m., in the CIM Auditorium.

At the most recent meeting, the students shared contenders for the best individual poems.
The gathering is very casual. Open criticism was given and welcomed by all.

The intimate setting of the club gives students the freedom to speak candidly about the most personal and unconventional topics, such as the irony of a colostomy bag.

Andrea Quinn, a student and member of the DPS, said, “I think it’s really important for like-minded people to have a place to discuss literature and their own work.” Quinn has been in DPS since 2010.

Robyn Giles founded the club in spring of 2010. O’Shaughnessy, professor of English and creative writing at CCC, immediately accepted the opportunity to oversee the club’s activities.

“Everyone has educated and perceptive things to say about a topic,” O’Shaughnessy said. The workshop environment is loosely structured, but serious on evaluating content, he explained.

Every year, DPS publishes a literary magazine called, “The Madison Review”, which has all of the students’ best works, including the winning poem from Poetic Idol, Quinn said.

Quinn said that copies of the magazine are available for students to look at in the library.

The DPS has hosted readings by established poets such as Gretna Wilkinson.
Wilkinson writes about a range of topics from human suffering to the joy of children. She is a teacher at Red Bank Regional High School in Little Silver, N.J.

Readings by poets such as, Wilkinson are just one way the DPS is reaching out to people who have an interest in the expression of poetry.

Posters announcing the event are posted across campus.

Posters announcing the event are posted across campus.

It is also a way to welcome anyone who is interested in joining the club.

All full-time and non full-time students are welcome to attend the meetings, every Wednesday from 3-5 p.m. in Madison 111.
The club is available to students in both the fall and spring semesters, however the times are subject to change.

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