2019 Ginsburg Prize Winner

2019 Ginsburg Prize Winner

The Humanistic Studies department is pleased to announce the winner of the 2019 Ginsburg Prize for Poetry, senior Sarah Purnell. Department faculty member judge, Elizabeth Wagenheim, said of Sarah’s poems that they, “…are driven by internal rhyme and steer the reader through the mundane of the every day to fresh unexpected imagery.”

Sarah’s writing and drawings explore identity, and the ways we navigate social order, relationship dynamics, and psychological spaces. After graduating from the General Fine Arts program, she intends to develop her studio practice and pursue a career in curatorial studies. Please follow Sarah’s work on Instagram at @a_sentimental_lady or sarahmpurnell.com


two twenty-eight

a floating thing, spineless,

straddling the worst of two worlds in this squeaky backseat.

what absurdities he spits in the rear-view mirror

to the empty shell of a total stranger

composed solely of fearstained

eyeballs and twenty-eight shameful teeth.

I ask myself why I am smiling because

I would rather flirt with death

than with this man, and there is a light outside,

an angel, I believe, the sun’s reflection

leaping from a high rise window as we pass,

reminding me that when it dips below the sky

I will be away from here,

but bitterness

will lay heavy like a body

atop me while I sleep.

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