MFA Graduate Olivia Springer Wins 2022 Plork Award
May 26, 2022
Contact: Office of Advancement and External Relations
Olivia Springer, MFA '22, is the winner of The University of Baltimore's 2022 Plork Award. The award honors a graduate student whose work best exemplifies the spirit of the Creative Writing & Publishing Arts graduate program, exhibiting extraordinary creativity, originality and imagination in the integration of creative writing and book design, as well as dedicated citizenship within the MFA community.
Springer was selected for the award for her final thesis project, a book titled The Ancestors that she both wrote and produced, as well as for her creative and numerous design-related contributions to the final MFA reading event.
"Olivia exemplifies the essence of 'plork' in how she approached her MFA thesis book, as well as promotional graphics for our graduate book fair and reading," said design instructor John Wilson.
The term "plork" derives from the combination of "work + play." It's what happens when writers feel free to experiment and to play. The spirit of plork is at the heart of the MFA program, and as described on the MFA website, "… it will carry into your classes when you write your books, make your books, work with your fellow classmates, perform your work and more."
Wilson adds, "Olivia is serious about both writing and design. Further, she provided her classmates and instructors with three distinctive and imaginative design variations for the posters, social media and program cover for the final event. It has been a great pleasure to witness and encourage her creative process."
"I, personally, found her to be so flexible in her short story revision process and so innovative with her cover design, which repurposed a cosmic-fueled sample of JOANN fabric," said Prof. Betsy Boyd, director of the MFA program. "She threw her best artistic self into the poster design for the book fair. Even her live reading was 'plorky' and great, as she performed her characters' various voices with subtle flair."
The Plork Award carries with it a $500 prize from the Klein Family School of Communications Design's Randolph Avery Fund.