Seven Midland College (MC) students were honored at the annual Hilda Simmons Levitt
Poetry Contest on Thursday, April 25, at 5:30 p.m. in the Allison Fine Arts Building
Wagner & Brown Auditorium on the main MC campus.
The annual contest—with $1,300 in prize money going to the top four winning poets—has
been called one of the most prestigious in the state. It was established in 1988
to honor the memory of Hilda Simmons Levitt by her husband Stanley. The Levitt’s
daughter, Carol Schwartz of Washington, D.C., continues to underwrite the contest.
“We are so grateful to Mrs. Schwartz for her generous contribution and willingness
to recognize the creative works of Midland College students,” said MC Department Chair
of Technical Writing and Philosophy Brendan Egan who serves as contest coordinator.
“The contest inspires our students and encourages them to continue to write.”
For many years, the Levitt family owned and managed a successful Midland clothing
business on Florida Street. From 1979 until her death in 1986, Mrs. Levitt took creative
writing classes at Midland College.
Each year, Midland College English students submit poems for consideration for the
Karla Fernandez, wrote the winning first-place poems, “Broken Spoons” and “The Silver
That Grows Outside My Window.” She received a $600 cash award. Second place winner
and recipient of a $400 cash prize was Desiree Esparza for her poem “A Beautiful Tragedy.”
Isabella Nieto received the third place award and $200 for “Lost” and “Your Words.”
Fourth place winner and recipient of a $100 cash prize was awarded to Shaquila Sarapao
for her poem “Wireless.” Honorable Mention recognition went to Bailey Heady, Alondra
Morales and Kathryn Zap. The winning poems will be published in the Midland College
Photo: Hilda Simmons Levitt Poetry Contest winners from left to right: Shaquila Sarapao,
Bailey Heady, Desiree Esparza, Alondra Morales, Isabella Nieto and Karla Fernandez.