Melisa Cahnmann, an assistant professor of language and literacy education in UGA’s College of Education, has received the top prize of $10,000 in a national contest for poets younger than age 40. Cahnmann’s winning entry in the inaugural Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Contest consisted of three poems, “Habitat for Humanity,” a villanelle; “Inspiration,” a free- form verse poem; and “Icaria,” a sonnet. Her poems were selected to receive the top prize from 154 entries from across the nation and Australia, Belgium, Canada, England and Malaysia.
Cahnmann is currently enrolled in the low-residency master of fine arts program at New England College. Her research, teaching and poetry often focus on bilingualism, cross-cultural identity and multicultural education. She directs the Finding Unity in Diversity project, which takes teachers out of classrooms and puts them into the communities where Latino and African-American students and families live, work, play and pray.