Third Annual MU LED Reading

It took a few weeks, but we’re finally ready to share some photos from our Third Annual MU Undergraduate LED Reading!

We were once again thrilled to host the reading in the George Caleb Bingham Gallery, thanks to director Catherine Armbrust. The coinciding Visual Art and Design Showcase provided a great backdrop, and a thought-provoking experience after the readers finished.

Annalee Roustio was another familiar face, having won the contest two years in a row! She read her winning poem “Worried, Sick” as well as other recent work, including a powerful poem about climate catastrophe.

Two of the contest runners up were also able to join us. Jewell Pfister read her poem “Condense” and Crystal Cox read “Bumpy Love Body.” These talented poets showed just how hard it must have been to judge this competition!

Fortunately for us, that was up to this year’s judges — Grace Gardiner and Lindsay Fowler (not pictured). Grace gave generous and thoughtful introductions to each piece.

Annalee was kept busy signing copies of her new Risograph-printed broadside.

“Worried, Sick” is still up and running on our LED display outside the gallery.

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Worried, Sick by Annalee Roustio

The reading for our Third Annual MU Undergraduate Writing Competition has come and gone, but you can still read the winning piece. Annalee Roustio’s winning piece, “Worried, Sick” is installed outside the George Caleb Bingham Gallery – right next to ol’ George himself! Stop by and read this stunning poem any time before March 15th. (If you’re not in Columbia, you can buy the broadside and read it whenever you like.)

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Third Annual MU Undergraduate Runners Up

Once again, we were fortunate to receive a number of outstanding works for our University of Missouri Undergraduate Writing Competition.

In addition to our winner, Annalee Roustio, we’d like to congratulate three other truly outstanding undergraduate writers:

  • Crystal Cox for “Bumpy Love Body”
  • Elliot Goodman for “The Sleeping Habits of Poltergeists”
  • Jewell Pfister for “Condense”

If you want to hear these works (and trust us, you do) join us on January 28th, at 5:00 p.m. in the George Caleb Bingham Gallery. You can read Annalee’s piece, “Worried, Sick” on our scrolling LED display outside the gallery.

Thanks also to Grace Gardiner and Lindsay Fowler for judging the competition this year.

Introducing Our Contest Judges

Now that we’ve congratulated our winner and runners up, it’s time to say thanks to the two fabulous readers who judged the entries for the 2018 undergraduate competition. We are so grateful that Jordi Alonso and Anna Wehrwein made time for our contest amid the demands of writing and art-making and teaching!

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Jordi Alonso graduated with an AB in English from Kenyon College in 2014 and was the first Turner Fellow in Poetry at Stony Brook University where he received his MFA. He is the Gus T. Ridgel Fellow in English at the University of Missouri where he is a PhD candidate studying the cultural transmission of nymphs in literature. He’s been published in Kenyon Review Online, Noble/Gas QtrlyRoanoke ReviewLevure Littéraire, and other journals. Honeyvoiced, his first book, was published by XOXOX Press and his chapbook, The Lovers’ Phrasebook, was published by Red Flag Poetry Press in 2017.


Anna Wehrwein is an artist originally from the Boston area. She received her BS in Art and BA in English/Creative Writing from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and her MFA in Drawing and Painting from the University of Tennessee. Her work has been featured in New American Paintings and Friend of the Artist and has been exhibited nationally. During the summer of 2017 she was a resident at Vermont Studio Center. She currently lives in Columbia, MO where she is a Visiting Assistant Professor of Painting and Drawing at the University of Missouri.

MU Undergraduate Runners Up

Yesterday, we introduced our winning writer, Kirstin Smith.

We also have some talented runners up to acknowledge:

  • Sabrina Brons for her story, “Gossip”
  • Sabrina Heffern for her story, “On the Wings of Her Fledglings”
  • Kelly Schoessling for her story, “Is it Distance or Space?”

They have also been invited to share their submissions at our reading event at the George Caleb Bingham Gallery, located in the Fine Arts Building on the MU Campus on Tuesday, February 27th at 5:00 p.m.

Stick around after to celebrate at SRLBX x THERETHERENOW (206 Hitt St.) and enjoy snacks, refreshments, and art.