The Lucy Hall Gordon Memorial Poetry Prize is awarded annually during the Spring Semester to a full-time Ohio Wesleyan student, in his or her junior year, for a work of poetry judged to be the best submitted in competition for the Prize.  All OWU juniors are eligible to compete for the Prize irrespective of their academic major or area of study.

Lucy was born on April 24, 1917, in the small town of Palmetto, Georgia located about 25 miles south of Atlanta.  Without any formal training or mentorship, she became a student of the great poets and had the remarkable ability to recite many classical works with flawless recall.  As she often said, "Poetry drowned my sorrows and uplifted my spirits."

After she passed away on September 28, 2009, a collection of her favorite poems were discovered in an old binder.  Several poems, dated between 1934 and 1940, are believed to have been written by her. 

For all who compete for this Prize, your works represent a shared joy with Lucy for the rhythm and rhyme of great poetry.  Please find the last five (5) years' award winners listed below.  For an exhaustive list of past recipients, please email the department at

Year Recipient
2024 Lillian Coats
2023 Jenna Nahhas '24
2022 N/A
2021 Sarah Jonassen '22
2020 N/A