Time to make the prose–coffee entices writers

The Dunkin’ Donuts Finals Caf? opened its doors last Wednesday in the student center, holding its second annual “Freshly Ground Prose” contest.

In addition to free coffee, Munchkins and various Dunkin’ Donuts paraphernalia, such as notebooks and pencils, was handed out. Students were encouraged to partake in a challenge of creativity by composing a poem. The best poet won $250 towards textbooks and free breakfast for the winner and 25 friends.

The poem had to be 100 words or less and written in the style of a literary great, such as Shakespeare. Most importantly, it would express a “love of coffee and breakfast.”

“Honestly, you’re really gonna have to work for it,” Joe Dockery, sophomore graphic design major, said.

The “Freshly Ground Prose” contest is conducted at nine New York and Philadelphia-area colleges, including the University of Pennsylvania, Western Connecticut University, Baruch College and Seton Hall University. One winner is chosen from each campus.

This is the first year that the Dunkin’ Donuts Finals Cafe has visited the College. In addition to giving college students a “refreshing break from the labors of finals studying,” the contest was designed as part of the corporation’s outreach program to “bring Dunkin’ Donuts together with the community,” according to representative Marilu Rivas.

The contest was held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and approximately 50 poems were submitted. Students at the College channeled e.e. cummings, Ambrose Bierce and Dr. Seuss, among others, in order to write their odes to donuts and brew.

Some of the winning entries at other colleges were written in the voices of Langston Hughes and Robert Frost. The College’s winning entrant chose the literary voice of Shakespeare.

Mary Vasile, freshman open options major, won the contest with a poem that exalted breakfast and echoed the style of the Bard. She turned in her entry only a half-hour before the contest’s close.

When asked if she expected to win, she replied, “Not at all . when I saw the message on my machine, I was thinking that it was a joke.”

As for the prizes, Vasile said, “I’m so excited. I’m going to share the breakfast with my loved ones.” Regarding the textbook money that was also awarded, she said, “Going from being broke to being $250 richer is not that bad.”

The Winning Entry:

Oh, Dunkin’ Donuts, how I love thee, let me count the ways. One, for your revered namesake, donuts so delicious it could awaken star-crossed lovers from their dreamless sleep. Ah, indeed, and in flavors so numerous and varied all living in calm, content side by side, they could inspire bitterly warring families to peace. Not to be forgotten, your aromatic brew, coffee that revives the weakened spirit of even the most wearied playwrite. Strong enough to clear the minds of the most confused Athenians and energize even the most melancholy of Danes. All brought to me with the friendly and efficient service of a smiling staff … Dunkin’ Donuts, the stuff of fiction and fantasy. My love for you remains an ever-fixed mark. To be, or not to be at Dunkin’ Donuts is never a question.