Tom Bosworth '22 Receives 2023 Glascock Poetry Prize

Professors and poets Vievee Francis and Matthew Olzmann selected Bosworth to take part in the Glascock Intercollegiate Poetry Contest, the oldest undergraduate poetry competition in the United States.

Tom Bosworth '22 was named the winner of the 2023 Kathryn Irene Glascock Intercollegiate Poetry Contest, the oldest continuously running poetry contest for undergraduate students in the United States.

Professors and poets Vievee Francis and Matthew Olzmann selected Bosworth to take part in the contest, which brings students from schools across the country to Mount Holyoke College to participate in poetry readings and a roundtable discussion with a panel of three distinguished judges. Poet, novelist, and art journalist Eileen Myles, poet Hoa Nguyen, and poet and scholar Evie Shockley served as this year's judges.


Professors and poets Vievee Francis (left) and Matthew Olzmann
Professors and poets Vievee Francis (left) and Matthew Olzmann

"I am so grateful to have read alongside the other poets, who were all so gracious and skillful," says Bosworth, who graduated this month and will begin teaching at the Putney School in southern Vermont in the fall. "I was totally starstruck meeting Hoa Nguyen, Eileen Miles and Evie Shockley. I will treasure the experience for the rest of my life." 

At Dartmouth, Bosworth majored in English with a concentration in creative writing. He worked with Francis on his honors thesis, a collection of poetry titled Knotweed after the invasive and resilient plant found in the Hanover area. 

"The manuscript is about coming of age in a time of social and ecological catastrophes, which are of course linked at the root," Bosworth says. "The ecology of what we call Hanover and the Upper Valley is at its heart." 

"Tom Bosworth is a talented poet, and the bigness of his talent is matched only by the expansiveness of his character," Olzmann says. "He's an extraordinary literary citizen who is looked up to by all his peers at Dartmouth. And his poetry is the real thing: innovative, capable of asking important questions about being human, and full of feeling."  

Bosworth's decision to attend Dartmouth was influenced by the opportunity to work with Francis and Olzmann. He first encountered Olzmann's work when he was in high school.

"My friends and I became obsessed with his humor and willingness to name all the ways humans are cruel to each other after reading Contradictions in the Design," Bosworth recalls. "His work showed me that poetry is alive, aware, and capable of crossing great distance. I became serious about writing poetry."

When he was weighing college options with his mentors, he started hearing about Vievee Francis's "legendary status as a teacher of poetry."

"The more I looked into the English and creative writing department at Dartmouth, the more I felt like I had to go," Bosworth says. 

"When I arrived at Dartmouth, I didn't really need someone to teach me how to write a poem," he adds. "I could do that, and it was what I wanted to do with my life. I needed someone to show me how to make a life out of it, how to escape the trope of the lonely, starving artist. That's what Professors Olzmann and Francis did for me, as they have done for many others."