Phi Beta Kappa Chapter News

2019 Love of Learning Poetry Prize

Alpha of Iowa chapter awards its Love of Learning Poetry Prize to the poem that best reflects upon Phi Beta Kappa's motto, "The Love of Learning is the Guide of Life."  We are pleased to award this year's prize to Margaret Preigh, reproduced below. The Alpha of Iowa chapter thanks past president Julie Claus for donation of the $100 prize.

The Conception of a Poem

The world in word, a mirrored soul,
The warbler sings her song:
Silence refused to exactitudes
while dreams find their life.

A rift is healed through soft reflection,
their cries are finally heard.
For a moment, something clicks:
a fleeting thought to a sermon.

Scrutiny: dramatized.
Arguments: quite baroque.
A startling phrase is uttered softly
and something new is quick provoked.

In sound and weight and heart and tongue
the work begins anew.
Dilated movement and attention
find passion introduced.

Through a lens, the work takes form
like the wind of a gathered breath,
the tension builds with quick corruption
of the writer’s provisional plan.

At it’s peak, the strangeness crashing,
the speaker fails to speak.
For all is still, surrendered to action
and interpreted critique.

The bustle slows, the breath exhaled,
and all is well once more.
Both worlds now othered, gently changed,
an edgeless portmanteau.

The author tweaks her twists and turns,
The editor could scrap it all,
but through careful parturition
the message might live on.

For in the bleakest ticks of time
when everything seems lost,
in writing I will find my nest,
it is through phrases we express.

Upcoming Events and Deadlines

Spring 2019 and Fall 2019 Writing Internships with The Key Reporter. Deadlines: Friday, November 9, 2018, or Friday, June 7, 2019. Undergraduate Phi Beta Kappa members do not need to leave Iowa City for this paid internship! Please send a cover letter addressing the qualifications for the internship, resume with list of references, and three writing samples (500-700 words each) to, see for more information.

Love of Learning Poetry Prize. Deadline: Friday, February 8, 2019. Embrace your inner geek and write about why you love college and the world of ideas. You have complete creative freedom to craft a poem that speaks to your love of learning. If you are an undergraduate at the University of Iowa, submit your poem via email to Phi Beta Kappa Officers will read the poems and select one to receive the $100 prize.

Stevens Phi Beta Kappa Scholarship. Deadline Friday, February 8, 2019. The Stevens Phi Beta Kappa Scholarship is awarded each year to a junior in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences majoring in natural science with at least two semesters of work remaining (minimum 75 semester hours earned by the close of the spring 2019 semester). More information may be found at

Phi Beta Kappa Induction Ceremony, Sunday April 14, 2019, at 1:30 pm., Second Floor Ballroom, 243 IMU. Family, friends, and mentors are invited to help celebrate the induction of new members into our distinguished society. Our guest speaker will be Professor Downing Thomas, Associate Provost and Dean of International Programs. A reception will immediately follow.

Spring 2018 Induction Ceremony
Sunday, April 15, 2018 - 1:30 pm, Concert Hall, Voxman Music Building

Alpha of Iowa chapter of Phi Beta Kappa inducted 135 students who accepted membership fall 2017 and spring 2018. Professor Roland Racevskis, Department of French and Italian, gave the keynote address:  "Getting it Right."

A reception followed the ceremony in the Pearl West Lobby

Phi Beta Kappa Spring 2018 Inductees

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