1st Prize in Prose: Adele Morgan Messner Gelperin, 10th grade student at Hamden High School for her story, “The Wild Things”
1st Prize in Poetry: Christina Flynn, 12th grade student at The Williams School for her poem, “Writer's Block”
2nd Prize in Prose: Jonathan Gelernter, 11th grade student at Amity Regional High School and ACES Educational Center for the Arts, for his entry, “The Yarmulke Kid”
2nd Prize in Poetry: Xhesika Pasholli, 12th grade student at The Williams School for her poem, “House of Stairs”
About Thornton Wilder
Thornton Wilder was born in Madison, Wisconsin in 1897. He studied at Oberlin College and Yale University and later became a teacher of literature and creative writing. Both a novelist and a playwright, he is considered one of the most important American writers. He won three Pulitzer Prizes: for the novel, The Bridge of San Luis Rey (1927), and for two plays, Our Town (1938), and The Skin of Our Teeth (1943). Another play, The Merchant of Yonkers (1939), which he rewrote as The Matchmaker, became the basis for the popular musical Hello, Dolly.
Wilder is not only an internationally known and respected author. Because he lived in Hamden from 1929 until his death in 1975, Hamden also claims him as one of its most noted residents. He is the inspiration for the annual Hamden writing competition for high school students, begun in 1986 by Augusta Thomas and the Friends of the Hamden Library. The prizes that are awarded each year have been made possible by a generous endowment from Thornton Wilder’s sister, Isabel Wilder, who resided in Hamden until her death in 1995.