Wyatt James Merkley, from Western University, was Highly Commended in the Literature category for his paper: “Literary Amplification: Jon Krakauer’s Use of Intertextual References in Into the Wild and Their Role in The McCandless Phenomenon”
Wyatt is currently living in his hometown of London, Ontario, Canada.
After graduating, Wyatt took a well-deserved year off school for the first time, devoting his time to traveling, reading, and relaxing with family and friends. He hiked and backpacked around Ireland, Wales, and England, visiting sites he’d read about in famous English Literature, from the house in James Joyce’s “The Dead” to the Tennyson Down on The Isle of Wight, to Tolkien’s favourite Pub, the Eagle and Child, in Oxford. He was happy to finish seeing the Dublin sites he’d started seeing while at The Undergraduate Awards and delighted to continue literature conversations with fellow Highly Commended award winner Joe McCarthy, who hosted him in Cork.
Overall, the break from academic deadlines was nice, but Wyatt is quite happy to announce that he will be pursuing his Master’s of English Literature this coming fall, again at Western University, with the aim to eventually complete a PhD so that he can sew patches onto the elbows of his tweed jacket. Big summer plans include traveling in Canada’s north, being outside lots, and starting Joyce’s Ulysses this upcoming “Bloomsday”, June 16th.
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