Book Collection - And the 2021 Winners Are!

Congratulations to Ella Hampson, Kaya Heimowitz, and Katie Kulus, winners of the 2021 Book Collecting Contest!

Collins Choice Award
Katie Kulus
“Little Paris Bookcase”

The Collins Choice Award recognizes a student whose collection illustrates the hallmarks of a liberal arts education.  The collector in this case gathered together a close knit collection focused on their experiences in, and love of, Paris.  In her collection, “Little Paris Bookcase,” the author describes the process of collecting, and how each book ties to her experience prior to, during, and after living in Paris.  She included fiction and non-fiction, including children’s books, novels, maps, travel guides and cookbooks in the collection.  Weaving her travels in and around Paris into a literary and cultural exploration of the city, including time spent at Shakespeare and Company arguably one of the greatest independent bookstores still in existence.  As the collector so eloquently put it, “Every time I pick up a book on Paris it is as if my adult reality and my childhood fantasy are united. To me that is what makes a great book, being able to feel connected and yet longing for the unknown.”

Katie is a senior majoring in Gender & Queer Studies.  She is from Sartell, Minnesota.


Best Essay
Kaya Heimowitz
“My Poetry Collection”

In the chosen essay titled, “My Poetry Collection,” the author shows the early influence of others in planting a love of reading and writing, in this case poetry, in the next generation.  As she notes, “reading has always been like breathing for me. After a while, reading became the inhale, and writing became the exhale.”  It was a family member who provided her a double bond that is both genetic and intellectual. The essay is very personal and outlines the process of collecting tied to the authors’ growth into a follower, reader, scholar and writer of poetry. The essay outlines the process of building her collection, along with thoughts on what led her to follow certain authors, and to expand the breadth of her interests.  The essay is a delight to read.

Kaya is a first-year student with an undecided major, but she’s leaning towards a degree in English with an emphasis in Creative Writing.  She is from Honolulu, Hawaii.


1st Place/Single Collector Award
Ella Hampson
“Dreaming into our Collective Future”

The first place, or single collector, award acknowledges the combination of an excellent, integrated and comprehensive essay, a well annotated bibliography, collection images, and a thoughtful wish list.  In the collection, “Dreaming into our Collective Future,” the collector clearly brings divergent writing genres together into one cohesive collecting scope, that of hope!  “If we truly believe that we can get to a world that is better for everyone and the earth, we can start taking the steps to move into it.”  Weaving together works of fiction and non-fiction that empowered her to see her own role in building a better future, the collection is categorized into non-fiction, visionary science fiction and ‘other’ which includes poetry, youth, fiction and religion. The well written, and well integrated, essay and bibliography clearly articulate how each of the works mentioned fulfills her mission in both a personal and academic way.

Ella is a senior majoring in Geology.  She is from Leavenworth, Washington.



The aim of the competition was to encourage full-time students at University of Puget Sound to read for enjoyment and to develop personal libraries throughout their lives, to appreciate the special qualities of printed or illustrated works, and to read, research, and preserve the collected works for pleasure and scholarship.”

The award was sponsored by the Book Club of Washington, a nonprofit organization of book lovers and collectors who has a special interest in collecting and preserving printed materials.  It is a goal of the club to support a new generation of collectors with awards and recognition of their collecting accomplishments.  The club held its annual awards reception on April 22nd, where the University of Puget Sound and all student participants were recognized for their achievement.

Congratulations to all the students who participated in the contest.  Plans are already underway for the next year's contest!