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10-10_reed_1Charlotte Reed (I), a second-year creative writing student, earned first place in Princeton University’s 2010 Leonard Milberg ’53 Secondary School Poetry competition. As part of this distinction, Charlotte was recently a guest of honor at the prizewinners’ luncheon where she dined with three members of Princeton’s creative writing faculty: poets Paul Muldoon, Susan Wheeler and Michael Dickman. “These three people are incredible, award-winning writers, and the conversation was so organic,” Charlotte says.

Charlotte’s poem “Acupuncture” was chosen from among thousands of submissions from across the country. Sponsored by the University’s Lewis Center for the Arts, the contest was judged by members of Princeton’s creative writing faculty, which includes renowned authors Joyce Carol Oates, Jeffrey Eugenides, Tracy K. Smith and Colm Toibin.

“What I like best about writing poetry,” Charlotte says, “is that it accesses human nature in a way that you can’t always express in a full sentence, or in a critical essay. No matter where you start in poetry, no matter what your topic is, you always reveal something about humanity. I also love the language of poetry—playing with words, choosing words, creating metaphors.”

Charlotte’s award-winning poem will appear in the next issue of the Magus-Mabus, Milton’s student literary magazine.