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Holman earns immunity for week three of “Project Poet”

September 23, 2011
By cnp
Posted in Student Events

The second installment of "Project Poet" took place on Tuesday, September 20 before an enthusiastic crowd of 127 in the black box theatre.

The two-part challenge for the second night of competition required the poets to:

  1. Write a bad poem about a theme dear to the hearts of bad poets.
  2. Write a poem about a figure from myth, legend, or popular culture who finds that figure in a situation that doesn’t quite fit with his or her reputation.

Tanner Holman, a senior English major from Mesquite, Texas, won over the judges and the audience, earning immunity for week three. In what was described by Dr. David Strain as a "really good bad poem," Tanner drew inspiration from Shakespeare’s Sonnet 130, reading for the audience his tribute "God Only Nose."

In addition to Holman, poets who remain in print are Jessica Bowen, Dylan Eakin, Andrew Heim, week 1 winner Stephen Kennedy, David Pluebell and Rikki Runyan.

Based on Bravo TV’s program "Project Runway," the "Project Poet" competition presents contestants with a new challenge each week. Contestants read their entries before the panel of three faculty/staff judges, and the audience, who acts as the fourth judge. When all votes are tallied, one contestant wins immunity for the next week’s challenge, while two or three others go "out of print." The contestants who make it through to each successive round are given more difficult challenges as the competition progresses.

The final five poets who make it through all the challenges receive a cash prize: the fifth-place winner will receive $50; fourth-place $75; third-place $125; second-place $250; and the overall winner receives $500, as well as the title of Poet Laureate of the Spadra Valley. University president Dr. Rick Niece and first-lady Sherée have donated the prize money for season six of competition. For more information about "Project Poet," see