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Mira Nair '79 and Felipe M. Noguera '77 gave the winning speeches in this year's Boylston speaking contest last night before more than 200 people in Boylston Hall.
Nine finalists, chosen by a faculty committee last month from over 40 entrants, recited pieces by a variety of writers, including Donne, Browning, Yeats and Dylan Thomas.
Nair won $175 for delivering part of Jocasta's speech from a modern adaptation of Seneca's Oedipus. A transfer student from Delhi University, she won first prize in a nationwide speech contest in India in 1975.
Noguera won $100 for a dramatic reading of "The Meaning of the Fourth of July for Black People," by Frederick Douglass.
Robert S. Fitzgerald '33, Boylston Professor of Rhetoric and organizer of the contest, said yesterday the competition signifies "a return to the essence of literature" because it consists of "beautiful writing, so well-spoken."
The judges were Owen C. Thomas, an Episcopal priest at the Divinity School, Paul C. Reardon '32, a former Massachusetts Supreme Court Justice, and Mason Hammond '25, Pope Professor of the Latin Language and Literature Emeritus. As stipulated in the original grant for the contest, the judges represented the cloth, the bar and education.
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