Evening Song wins chapbook competition for Gastonia resident
Laurinburg, N.C. – St. Andrews Presbyterian College senior Phil Ratchford of Gastonia has been named the winner of the 2011 Alan Bunn Memorial Chapbook Competition for his manuscript, Evening Song.
“I was shocked to win,” said the sports management major. “This is a new journey for me and it was truly a surprise. I was working at a basketball game when the email announcement went out and I got a text message from a friend congratulating me.”
The competition was created to honor literary accomplishments and was established in memory of Alan Bunn, who showed great promise as a writer while a student at St. Andrews. Currently enrolled junior and senior students at St. Andrews are eligible to submit a manuscript for the competition and the St. Andrews Press publishes the winning work.
“This manuscript is a collection of memories of both travels and growing up to spread my wings and experience the world on my own,” Ratchford said. “The big inspiration came from my trip to Brunnenburg Castle in Italy with St. Andrews in the fall of 2009.
“I had done a little bit of writing in high school but got away from it when I started college. Then, during the Intro to Pound class we had to take to prepare for Italy, I had to write poetry and it brought me back into it. With (St. Andrews Instructor of English and Writing Dr.) Ted (Wojtasik) as the professor for the Brunnenburg trip, I had a chance to explore even more.”
That exploration resulted in high compliments from competition judges Nancy Henry and Whit Griffin.
“This collection is a painterly work by a poet with an eye and ear finely tuned to beauty and the reverberations of history,” wrote Henry.
Griffin adds, “This small collection of poems is expansive in its embrace of a life of worldly exploration.”
Ratchford will share a reading from Evening Song during the April 7 St. Andrews Writers’ Forum, an event the English and therapeutic horsemanship minor is looking forward to.
“I read at the Forum as a part of a group when we got back from Brunnenburg,” Ratchford said. “I am both nervous and excited about being the featured reader in April.”
Copies of the book are expected to be available for purchase in April. They can be ordered via email firstname.lastname@example.org, phone 910-277-5310 or by mail at St. Andrews College Press, 1700 Dogwood Mile, Laurinburg. N.C. 28352.
About St. Andrews Presbyterian College
An innovative and bold academic venture, the distinctive character of St. Andrews has been marked by an interdisciplinary curriculum, a highly acclaimed college press, an award-winning pipe band, national champion equestrian teams, and first-rate scholarship. In addition to classes on the main campus, adult learners also choose the Center for Adult and Professional Studies opportunities through St. Andrews @ Sandhills and St. Andrews ONLINE.
On Aug. 29, 1958, the merger between Presbyterian Junior College and Flora Macdonald College became official with the formation of St. Andrews Presbyterian College in Laurinburg, N.C. Further information may be obtained by visiting the College's website www.sapc.edu, calling 800-763-0198 or sending an e-mail to email@example.com.