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The Watrous Prizes

January 30, 2010

Kirkland students submitted original works for the annual George A. Watrous Prizes in Creative Writing, one each for poetry, fiction, and criticism. The Watrous Prize, established in 1970 by Esther Watrous Couper in her father’s name, was carried over to Hamilton College after the merger in 1978.

Spectator reprint

From the Hamilton Spectator, May 16, 1970, contributed by Alice Hildebrand K'73 (click on image for full size)

Some Kirkland Watrous Winners


• Diane Walden, poetry, “Walking Poem”


• Alice Hildebrand, poetry, “Evening”

• Mary C. Anderson, poetry, “Saint Swithens Eve”

• Liz Horwitt, fiction, “Ginny”


• Susan Hartman, poetry, “After His Death” and others

• Ellen O’Brien, criticism, “Death and the Child: A Death in the Family and Call It Sleep”


• Susan Hartman, poetry, “Making Harvest”

• Jane Katz, poetry, “The Truth About Love”

• Nancy Avery, fiction & best entry, “The Triesmar Woman”

• Candace Harris, criticism, “Precision/Distortion in Jealousy”


• Billie Jean Stratton, poetry & best entry, “Epitaph for Every Zipped Fly Who Once Stood at Jute’s Bar”

• Andrea Kantor, poetry, “The Eclipsing Parapet”

• Nancy Avery, fiction, “Behind the Main House”


• Patti Knoblauch, poetry, “Paintings”

• Kathryn Livingston, fiction & best entry, “Calliope”

• Susan Thomas, criticism, “Untitled, The Image of Women in Joseph Conrad’s Fiction”


• Donna French, poetry & best entry, “Answer” and “Packing to Move”

• Isabel Weinger, fiction, “She Might Break”

• Eva Heisler, criticism, “A Jungian Interpretation of Norman Dubie’s ‘In the Dead of Night'”


• Jo Pitkin, poetry, “The Lakehouse”

• Lynn Randall, fiction & best entry, “Alley Cats and Easter Rabbits”

• Andrea Kantor, criticism, “The Veil of Wildness: Shakespeare’s Henry V”


• Barbara Berson, poetry

* Some information on Kirkland’s Watrous winners was graciously provided by Katherine Collett, Hamilton archivist.

Did You Know?

Prior to the merger, Hamilton students had the option of taking creative writing courses at both Hamilton and Kirkland. After the 1978 merger, Hamilton continued to offer creative writing classes yet also elected to offer students the opportunity for a creative writing major for the first time. Bill Rosenfeld shepherded the inclusion of this major into Hamilton’s English Department.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Susan Hartman permalink
    March 14, 2010 12:49 pm

    When I won the Watrous, there was a dinner celebration–I remember low lights, flowers on tables. But mostly I remember Natalie Babbitt’s face. High-cheekboned, elegant, she sat across from me. We chatted a bit. But mostly that night I watched her–one of my favorite children’s book authors–awed. . .

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