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Cruea writes from the heart in new poetry prize achievement

Junior creative writing and literature student Rachel Cruea wins 2016 Adroit Prize in Poetry. (photo/Rachel Cruea)

Junior creative writing and literature student Rachel Cruea wins 2016 Adroit Prize in Poetry. (photo/Rachel Cruea)

Rachel Cruea is an overachieving college student.

After all, she’s majoring in two demanding academic areas [creative writing and literature], works as a student tutor for Ohio Northern University’s Writing Center and is an active member of Kappa Alpha Theta.

She’s also Editor-in-Chief of ONU’s undergraduate literary journal, “Polaris.” And, if that’s not enough, she’s currently completing the first phase in her senior capstone project for the Department of English.

Cruea has always loved reading and writing, and now she is able to share her passion with others. This passion is one of the many reasons why she has been selected as the recipient for the 2016 Adroit Prize in Poetry, an international poetry prize for undergraduates and high-school students presented by “The Adroit Journal.”

“This has happened so quickly that it’s really hard to wrap my mind around it that my poetry is really starting to be recognized by established literary journals. It’s so exciting,” Cruea explained in a personal interview.

Cruea’s poem, “The Yellow Marrow Doesn’t Matter,” was selected by judge Corey Van Landingham from multiple other poetry submissions. The poem details a sister’s emotional ride as she witnesses her younger brother dealing with cancer. The piece holds great power to its addressee, but also has a remorseful tone.

The speaker of the poem knows the truth: Illness is not grand.

“I wrote the piece just a few days after he [her brother] was diagnosed with cancer. It was late January [2015] when it was made ‘cancerous.’ Our family knew he was going to be okay, but we knew there would be a lot of consequences. He couldn’t play baseball anymore. A lot of my regret in the poem comes from my regret of not going to his baseball games when he was healthy, or reading a book at the games instead of valuing that more. I was mad at myself. So I wrote this piece for me, to help me get through it, but I think the piece can help other people who are going through this situation, as well,” Cruea describes.

ONU’s Department of English prepares its students for future success. Currently, multiple creative writing students are having work selected for publication in various literary journals.

“The department prepares us to grow some thick skin because with all of these publications that we are getting, there are also a lot of rejections that are happening. As an English department, people don’t always take us seriously. But having so many students doing well really shows perspective students that you can be successful here at ONU as an English major,” Cruea adds.

Poetry allows writers to elicit different feelings about the world and their surroundings. Poetry is reinventing itself all the time, as Cruea noted, and poetry is constantly evolving with new forms and subject materials. As long as ONU keeps providing the opportunities for students, more work will continue to be produced in workshop courses.

Cruea is a junior creative writing and literature student from Findlay, Ohio. Her poems have previously been published in “Sun & Sandstone,” “The Vehicle,” “Collision,” “Bird’s Thumb.” Forthcoming publications will be featured in “The Pinch,” “Cactus Heart” and “BOXCAR Poetry Review.”


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