Contact: Meredith Dickenson or Ellen Sterner
SMU News & Media Relations
(214) 768-7654
August 23, 2002


DALLAS (SMU) -- Southern Methodist University student De'Borah Bankston, a junior majoring in journalism and geology, will be formally inducted as an International Poet of Merit and Honored Member of the International Society of Poets in Washington, D.C. , Aug. 23-25 at the society's annual summer convention. She also has been nominated as Poet of the Year for 2002.

The International Society of Poets was established in 1990 and is composed of poets from around the world. Bankston is being recognized for her poem "The Rains of War." The poem will be published as part of an anthology by the society titled Letters from the Soul. It also has been chosen to be one of 33 poems to be recorded professionally as part of a new poetry collection, The Sound of Poetry. "The Rains of War" was inspired by the events of Sept. 11 and dedicated to her family and to the U.S. Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Robert Jordan.

"I had just attended a conference at the SMU School of Law when I composed the poem," Bankston said. "Ambassador Jordan and other distinguished world leaders were discussing the current economic and political situation following Sept. 11 and were offering suggestions to try to reach a peaceful conclusion to the war. It struck me what a phenomenal undertaking this is, and I began thinking about just what it would take for world peace."

Bankston's poem may be found on the society's Web site at

At SMU, Bankston is a senior staff reporter for the student newspaper, The Daily Campus. She is the mother of grown daughters and has worked as a technical writer in telecommunications since shortly after her honorable discharge from the U.S. Marine Corps.