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High School Poetry Prize

Photo of journal with the written word "poetry"

In 2006, The Poetry Center launched its first annual Poetry Prize for High School Girls in Massachusetts (open to sophomores and juniors); since then, our contest has expanded into the other New England states and New York. Poet Naomi Shihab Nye graciously agreed to be the first judge, and each contest since has been judged by another prestigious poet. The winner receives a $500 prize from The Poetry Center in recognition of her outstanding work, and the winner and finalists are invited to share their work at a reading at Smith College.

Rules & Guidelines

  • The winner & three finalists will read their poems at the judge’s reading on April 6, 2021, via Zoom.
  • Submissions accepted: September 1–December 1, 2020. Winners will be announced in March 2021.
  • No entry fee. Application form required.
  • One poem per student.
  • Maximum of 25 lines.
  • Children of Smith employees are not eligible to enter.
  • Winner and finalists of previous years may not re-enter; past semifinalists may re-enter.

In addition to the cash prize awarded to the winner, she and the three finalists will receive a signed copy of a book of poems by the judge. The winner and finalists will also spend the day at Smith College, meeting as a small group with the judge to discuss poetry and presenting their winning work at the judge’s evening reading.


About This Year’s Judge

Author profile photo of poet Erika Meitner


Erika Meitner

Erika Meitner is the author of five books of poems: Holy Moly Carry Me; Inventory at the All-Night Drugstore; Makeshift Instructions for Vigilant Girls; and Ideal Cities, which was a 2009 National Poetry series winner; and Copia. Born and raised in Queens and Long Island, New York, Meitner is a first-generation American: her father is from Israel; her mother was born in a refugee camp in Germany, which is where her maternal grandparents settled after surviving the Holocaust. Meitner is currently a professor of English at Virginia Tech, where she directs the master’s and undergraduate programs in creative writing.


Winning Poems

Poems are posted with permission from the authors. 

Olivia Yang

Phillips Andover Academy, Andover, MA
Winner, 15th Annual Prize for High School Girls in New England and New York

 

 

奉⼦成婚1, 2004

on my parents’ wedding day, my mother refuses
to wear a dress. for the love of god just put it on, my mother’s mother
screams into the wet rotting air, which only knows to sink.
the sky a hazing, a haze of dust you could bite
into. at this point i am nothing
but an ideation of a goddess nobody wished to
serve. a sticky amorphous
oozing. i only have two
existences:

one as glue                                                                                                      and one as the dress
my mother refuses to wear. the fabric itself only has two colors,
a chinoiserie of muted red                                                                  and fading gold.
one to fight the fear of dying                          and the other of poverty.
in china, we bury our old at our weddings,
inside our newness                                         and our wanting.
we join two together with glue, accepting silence as
keepsake.
i have no way of knowing what my mother
wants because i am merely the dress she refuses
to wear, a bulge of stretched skin pressing firmly against
cloth. all i know is that i do not want to force anything upon
 her.
at the wedding table we sharpen our aged knives. the guests prey.
a bruise dresses the rabbit’s leg. my mother turns her face and
lends a prayer to the rotting sky. when a rabbit is chased by a dog,
its chest shudders with an instinctual desperation
telling it to go faster                                                                or it will surely die.
that fear is a kind of glue that welds the world together by force.
my mother’s mother screams at her
to wear the dress even if she doesn’t like it.
to have a child even if she doesn’t know how to raise it.

 

 

1 奉⼦成婚 (pinyin: fèng zǐ chéng hūn)
literal translation: married by the order of a child
definition: marriage necessitated by an unplanned pregnancy


Sophia Liu

Great Neck South High School, Great Neck, NY
Finalist, 15th Annual Prize for High School Girls in New England and New York

Pixie Dust

The suicide rate of Palo Alto’s high schools is about five times the national average.

After six months, Mama buys a new bag of rice—weighing down her
        shoulders on the way home. At once, she spills it all out on the kitchen table.

Say there are 100,000 grains here and say you are one. The marble countertop stands
        between us. She bends over and holds a translucent pellet up to me, then throws it back
        into

the white mass, crashing down like a fist full of stones sinking into a river basin.
        I forget that life is more than a granary.

The Caltrain blows in the distance, ghouling, strong enough for me to mistake it with the perched
       fan—blustering its breath over us. The way the rice squirm becomes too familiar.

We exist. Silhouetted against the BigTech rail advertisements—remember, we are as alive as the
      winter wind accompanying Baba’s nightly phone calls.

Mama tells me to clean up, so I spoon every grain back into the bag, double-checking that each
      lands with the rest. Too early on, I assume I am too slow because

she slides her hand through to finish the job for me. Few fall on our
       tiled floor and in a sweep, she tosses those in the bin—and like that—vaporized.

Mama, I could have been under the screeching metal—another body in that black mass.
       A foot off the blacktop and my existence would linger in every direction. I can only

blame whatever configuration of stars that have placed us here—
       far from hungry, but nonetheless, unfed. The absence of one, then another,

become ghosts in our classrooms that I am too scared to begin
        counting. And too scared to ask Mama if she knows why. Some days, I think

I should just accept the silence; a sickness passing through left to its own accord.
       Like always, Mama scoops out three cups of rice for dinner and draws

water to her first knuckle. But the rice is too thick today: reminiscent of pumpkin millet,
       of powdered chalk peppered into the wind from the names etched on our school steps.

Chalk carried by the train to Menlo Park, to San Antonio, to Sunnyvale, to heaven.


Gaia Rajan

Phillips Andover Academy, Andover, MA
Finalist, 15th Annual Prize for High School Girls in New England and New York

We Were Birds

That night he wore a white shirt and leapt
                   into the river. Didn’t surface for air. More water
                              than body, more tide than blood.
We’d just turned thirteen.       After,
         I closed every window. The mouths of tulips
broken. Beneath every oak, a lost limb.
                  I folded hundreds of pigeons, mangled paper into a beak
and a body. This poem is for how his voice cleaved the air
         into feathers, how I took a knife to the wall                 after,
until a moon of light shone through the apartment,
until my knuckles bled like his.
                 Suppose I woke and saw only lightning.
        Suppose the birds burned their songs
that summer. Suppose I speared sharks
                  in the river. I screamed Peter
which meant pray which meant please. How a name can sound
                  like a clock. A grave in a field full of ticking. Week-old
feathers. This boy, this bird-- too human
          for this earth. Which is to say: sometimes, I don’t exist
except in the universe where everyone stays alive, where wings sprout
             from our spines, where we have more to give
 than prayer. Which is to say: the morning                      after,
I gave my bones to the water. Feathers wavering
           in the river.
                      A blackbird in the oaks.

Originally published in Kissing Dynamite


Sophie Zhu

Williamsville High School East, Williamsville, NY
Finalist, 15th Annual Prize for High School Girls in New England and New York
The Film of Yellow (poem not posted as per author’s request)

Rachel Brooks

Christian Heritage School, Trumbull, CT
WINNER, 14th Annual Prize for High School Girls in New England and New York

Of Aching Knots

Brezel, my mother says, is German for pretzel,

but it isn’t enough to turn dough into knots.

 

The art’s rigid, divinely mathematical, so

she takes each body of flour and sugar,

 

water and yeast, twisting till the two ends touch.

Taste, she pleads. Her voice a rising cadence, a

 

punctured syllable. My teeth whittle the salt into bits,

grains of bitter earth lingering on lips. I just want

 

to gulp it down. In the kitchen: pot boils, while I sit

cross-legged and mother kneads

 

with calloused palms, dropping each shape into

the steam. How I wait for the vapors to condense,

 

form a ghost, my thoughts to settle like precipitate

and I wonder where the brezel got its shape.

 

So I read up on the monks in northern Italy, who

twisted strips of bread as rewards for their pupils’

 

holy efforts— kneeling, chanting hymns, slivered

tongues reciting scriptures. If you flip a pretzel

 

verkehrt herum, meaning upside down, it resembles

hands crossed in prayer. Now I picture that knot

 

in my stomach: calcified. This mouth has not tasted

brezel since I was nine and no wiry nymph of willow

 

limbs, free from the plagues haunting my thinning

wrists, sifting the rifts of my clavicles. My ribs

 

protruding like railroad tracks. I’ve forgotten

that hour where my body didn’t scorn me for

 

eating wheat’s bounty. I want absolution. To taste

blessing and bread as one. The pain’s sharp,

 

hollowing out my organ. Jagged. Like a knife slicing

fish belly to the bone. For now, I’ll fold my own arms.

 

What else am I to do but pray?


Carolyn Hohl

The Masters School, White Plains, NY
FINALIST, 14th Annual Prize for High School Girls in New England and New York

Sacrament

She asked me what I would do if I

could change my life,

 

to dance in wicked steps on the High Line

 

and christen myself with asbestos dust

from beneath the linoleum tiled floors.

 

I told her I’d make a new holiday for the romantics,

that it would be Ash Wednesday without any mention of repentance.

 

I would call the martyrs, call the boys with no last names

who lounge in the funeral homes

beside the women with wrinkled breaths and

 

tell them that there is no Lent

this year for the binge drinkers and the home

wreckers who’ve starved themselves too thin.

 

I’d call it Palm Sunday, I say,

that it’s for the people without psalms,

a celebration of the Eucharist,

the celebration of the body

 

and that all we would do is hold ourselves to each

other, become emphatically empathetic,

 

and give ourselves back to the soil entirely.

Keep the wild in our pockets, and play games in the

woods until we no longer

 

remember the Book of Genesis,

maybe even say we have enough genius to forget

the forbidden fruit.


Debby Shi

Walnut Hill School, Natick, MA
FINALIST, 14th Annual Prize for High School Girls in New England and New York

Lidded Eye

God called me one day through a hole in the moon, said

this is your last chance for never ending life.

He showed me his dark ringed moon, its nimbus

burning the hole in the night sky.

I can’t tell you much about Him, I can’t remember well,

but his space was meticulously cut into grids.

He touched me and my body was rendered glass-like,

the little roots of my body went ribboning down.

 

The trees were all planted in the same month

in this place He showed me.

Planted after the same fire that burned that hole in the moon.

He promises me I’ll burn in concentric circles,

slashed by the same crossbeams, the same light, the same grids.

My skin will oxidize to a pretty, burnished hue

opaque like glazed pottery, like a placid lake that never blinks.

 

We stand face to face, neither embracing nor touching,

lake-slick hair flat against bare shoulders.

His eyes are closed. And when He opens one

what spills from them coats the lake.

Then I open my eye and what spills from them is

a dim blue, orange, gold nothingness.

 

The promise of a new purified body is not enough, promises

are gone the next day, easily launched into the gray sky,

only the swirling galaxies and my trackless body.


Charlotte Watts

Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts
FINALIST, 14th Annual Prize for High School Girls in New England and New York

my grandfather (or life in italics)

my grandfather still lingers

in his photographs I’ve saved

a bird frozen in lilac sky

& the shadow of a mountain grazing a field

 

he lived surrounded by guarded visions of

peace, slowly forgetting

war and its horrors

 

he scaled a car to save my mother’s balloon

he saved every photo of his son

he raced an eagle

and beat him

to the edge of the horizon

 

still, he lived

out of an apartment that grew

worn down by age and experience

 

he kept photos of eagles and me in the same manila envelope

 

and while my grandmother wanted to

preserve his beauty

it is useless to

forget death and

deny his attempts

it would be a betrayal

to take his life

and define it in any way but 

among forest and sky.

Claire Shang

Hunter College High School, New York, NY
WINNER, 13th Annual Prize for High School Girls in New England and New York

EARS (BROKEN GHAZAL)

In summer we sprawl onto the streets—legs and eyes and ears
all attune to the heat. Love to become less, I am all ears

as we dissect ourselves. Removed from our bodies, examining
from afar. Mom has always told me about my ears

and their lobes, thick like Buddha’s, a sign of prosperity. In first
grade we learned homophones and I confused years with ears,

missing the y, the way mom had always said it, equating some truth
like time with a part of my own transient body. My palms, ears,

pressed with sweat, back bending into cement steps. Once
a campmate told me she couldn’t find a part of my face she liked. My ears,

I wanted to say. I am lucky to have these ears, you can’t tell. To be born
with the width, the weight, years of potential, you see? I want to siphon into my ears

all the sounds of the world. All the words in their correct pronunciations. All
the city sidewalk summer swell. All of the things I say, and don’t. One ear

for each of my two languages. One ear that always catches the y. For now,
I slump on the stoop and wait to become beautiful under summer sun.


Anaya Kaul

Worcester Academy, Worcester, MA
FINALIST, 13th Annual Prize for High School Girls in New England and New York

MY KASHMIRI

If you ask me if I speak “Indian” I’ll probably respond in one of two ways. I’ll respectfully tell you Indian isn’t a language, Hindi is, that each state has its own and mine is Kashmiri. Or I’ll respond in the more fun “Do you speak American?”

My Kashmiri is what some Indians would call “Pakistani,” a symbol for foreign politics that no one here, not even I, fully understands.

My Kashmiri smells of chili powder and cumin seeds fried in oil, wafting throughout the kitchen.

My Kashmiri is never Indian enough and its skin is white like the snow drifts it left behind.

My Kashmiri is the weight of ancestral scholars, spanning generations.

My Kashmiri has a meaning as complex as the swirling pattern of the soft rugs beneath my feet, a remnant of days long past.

My Kashmiri is the “only reason” I do well in school.

My Kashmiri wears Salwar Kameez dresses at parties while tapping its foot to Bollywood music.

My Kashmiri is the blank, confused stares of elementary school children who are taught that there is only one skin color for Indians.

My Kashmiri is stories of our homeland from my father, over the hum of a moving car.

My Kashmiri is a shiny, metal plate piled with rice, yogurt, lamb, and vegetables.

My Kashmiri respects its elders, pressing its hands together and greeting: “Namaskar.”

My Kashmiri has never been ashamed of itself, its voice rises loud above all challenges and tells its story.

My Kashmiri doesn’t eat cows no matter how “good” a hamburger seems to others.

My Kashmiri is early morning pooja with my grandparents praying to the pictures of all-powerful gods and reciting foreign words.

My Kashmiri gets lost sometimes in the cacophony that is America, it gets scared of voices of hate and dives deep into my body, only acts of love and tolerance can cause it to resurface.

My Kashmiri is something I would never give up.


Evita Thadhani

Milton Academy, Milton, MA
FINALIST, 13th Annual Prize for High School Girls in New England and New York

LIFE RULES

Dogs scare her, she says
spelled backwards
they are gods
and gods are meant to be feared
just like food is never to be wasted and
parents are meant to be obeyed,
just like wrinkled cabbage leaves are meant
to be wrapped around thin ankles
because they heal pain and
turmeric should spice everything
to clear demons and
knives should never be handed between people
because passing on death is worse than death itself.

My grandmother has never felt love.
She talks to her dead husband
as someone would a priest,
obedient, every word
weighted with the abruption of sin.
She only remembers they shared beers
and clothes, late nights at school plays,
dim lit emergency rooms and now
he looks through the picture frame
on her three drawer dresser.

I can only hope something inside of her
dreams of cutting dead fruit and finding white flesh,
of puncturing old skin with a knife
that lets her finger feel two lives at once.


Emmy Vitali

The Ethel Walker School, Simsbury, CT
FINALIST, 13th Annual Prize for High School Girls in New England and New York

AN ODE TO CONGENITAL HYPOTHYROIDISM

A Blue Morpho butterfly swathed around
the windpipe beneath the Adam’s Apple.
Indiscernible to those it perched upon,
its iridescent pigment remained totally unblemished.

One girl’s throat, however, fused
dimensions of space and time
yet lacked the orbiting brilliance
of a blue sapphire insect around her windpipe.

To her, a Blue Morpho’s abidance scoped beyond geography.
Others had cosmic mechanisms the girl could not fathom
without her small, blue pills, elixirs
brewing an aspiring butterfly functioning on a windpipe.

When she swallowed her daily dosage, each pill swamped itself
into what seemed like an abyssal lagoon in her throat.
Those with the Blue Morpho blossomed into metamorphosis
amidst the sweetness of a nectar, while she remained a caterpillar.

Malia Chung

Milton Academy, Milton, MA
WINNER, 12th Annual Poetry Prize for High School Girls in New England

Crabbing In Bethany, Delaware

He told me how he caught
blue crabs off the dock sinking
in wet sand and beer cans behind the beach cottage, splitting
the haul with his immigrant mother who cooked until
the pale bodies flushed red. He used to lure them with chicken
necks bought for ten cents a piece, money
from returnable Coke bottles stolen
from the neighbors’ yards. He remembers still
how she ate them: slurping the soft
flesh from the inner skeleton, the hack
and hiss of screen doors shuddering in their frames,
blackened nails from umpteen packs of Merits,
the “Who’s your boy?” and “What you looking at?”
Red-faced Floyd West lighting stray cats afire,
the Austin boys belt-whipped on their front porch.
This was being mixed in rural Delaware.
Sheryl wheezing in her yard, hair in curlers, bloated ticks
hanging from dogs’ ears, and the ex-Green Beret who snuck boys
his homemade wine. This was to be mixed
up in rural Delaware in the ‘80s. My father promises we’ll go crabbing
sometime, buy the necks and stand above the marsh stream on the wooden bridge
in another state. He tells me: the trick
to crabbing is tickling their white stomachs,
loosening their muscles on the net until, resigned,
they let go.  

 

Lexie von der Luft

The Holderness School, Plymouth, NH
FINALIST, 12th Annual Poetry Prize for High School Girls in New England

Light​ ​in​ ​the​ ​Wreckage

We are the empty dogs that hound in pitch darkness,
With snow scraping our feet and fur infecting our backs.
Although scars cut our pelts,
We bark anyway.

We resemble the shiny apples that fall from the wise tree
Into a bushel, with bruises freckling our rotted minds,
Our cores filled with seed,
And that is terrifying.

And we spread our seed.

We act like the frozen rings trapped in correlation around the orbit
Of Saturn’s ruthless pull, drifting from the Sun and
Still manage to live
Without the freedom of Mars.

We roughly inhale a breath of fresh smoke as the sky darkens,
Modifying the associations of quickly rising fire
From light,
To destruction.

We are the empty dogs.
We are the stars that don’t shine.
So glisten for me.


Maureena Murphy

Phillips Exeter Academy, Exeter, NH
FINALIST, 12th Annual Poetry Prize for High School Girls in New England

Her Afro Pick Speaks

girl.

this black girl.

birthed of melanin,

of a bronze-eyed star gazer,

of clear island nights on the beach,

of dripping mango juice and coconut water on shore.

Her. she held me before she could learn how to hold herself.

ripped through curl and coil searching for answers i could not give her

i am her savior.

it was my fingers that ran through her hair whispering beauty between strands like hymnals

directed her nervous hands through twisting fiber of cotton made silk upon her touch

taught her the heat of oxtails and dumplings fresh off a stove of matches and gas

showed her the adventure of climbing jack tree on bare foot and oiled palm

Me. it was through me that she brought herself out of chemical hiding

washed perm and applicator away with the waves of the island

held broken parts of her from root and cut them like weeds

turned back-bar comments and weary glare into

patois that rang like music in her ears.

she has found herself now.

discovered the art upon

her that god spent so

long to create.

a black girl

crowned.


Susan Li

Deerfield Academy, Deerfield, MA
FINALIST, 12th Annual Poetry Prize for High School Girls in New England

November      

& then, as if by magic,

                                    the late light sweeps up the last stragglers
loitering outside of the Motel 6, stalking shadows half-crescent,

                                    beating geese songs into the gravel, teething
on the ruins of this summer. Mother says this is just

                                    the way of the world: how every tick of the clock
presses another bruise under the great white eye

                                    of the moon. She tells me it is always dawn somewhere,
but it is hard to believe in anything beyond the tight mean pulse

                                    of these hours. And down here there is no exit sign,
not a soul on the interstate 95 for so many decades, nothing left to happen— 

                                    mother shivering in the stillness, praying
to steal away from these bodies for one night, as if

                                    forgiveness could make gravity unhinge all around us;
summer sucking its lungs in, moaning for any small mercy;

                                    the dim flickering lamp between us a lighthouse
shining on the ragged edges of the world.

                                    Meanwhile the geese are still singing their hymns, still
splitting open on the knife-points of their own limbs.

                                    We know that sharp need. The midnight brash,
shuddering where our limbs puncture the sky.

                                    But in the morning
we will tiptoe out of our bodies- still enough

                                    we can forget to be alive.
We will flay the room raw, bone white.

                                    We will surrender
nothing to the imagination.

Masfi Khan

Queens High School for the Sciences at York College, Jamaica, NY
WINNER, 11th Annual Poetry Prize for High School Girls in New England

My Body as a Home

Ma cuts a pomegranate along its ridges.
I watch it rupture. I imagine my organs
splitting open like that. Laid out like a wound,

bare and aching. Ma offers gutted arils with
one hand. Grips my wrist with the other as if
I’ll faint again. Eat, she pleads. I trace my ribs,
collapsing railroad tracks. I am so close to becoming

past tense. Last night, Ma swabbed my flesh,
purple and pitted, like spring. I wanted to feel 
full again. Wear this body as a home.

I shrivel from the pomegranate’s sweetness. How it
erodes the tongue cradling it. My teeth whittle
the seeds into tiny gods. I call it absolution. I call it
girl becoming more than just shadow.


Alena Ayvazian

The Hartsbrook School, Hadley, MA
FINALIST, 11th Annual Poetry Prize for High School Girls in New England

Indigo-berried bees

Bees swarm in the warm sunlight
And, lower,
Like bristled pores of pollen,
They hum
Their brassy full-throated buzz that seeps
into the pores of the air,
Weaving
Their shiny bodies through the plump berries
On the bush
Blueberries
Indigo
Like the weak-lined sky.
It expands with pale pink fingers that reach
Clouds that glisten
Shimmer
Like the pale belly of an oyster


Arielle Belluck

Weston High School, Weston, CT
FINALIST, 11th Annual Poetry Prize for High School Girls in New England

תשובה (Teshuva)

The truth is, I am not sorry.
I will not apologize
For the skirt that hangs above my knees
Or the lipstick tinged with feminism.
I will not sit shiva
For your pride
And the angelic little faces
In your wallet-sized photo album.

You say, “Honey, a little teshuva never hurt a soul”
But Grandma,
Teshuva does not mean “repent”
It means “return”
And I am not sorry for moving forward.

You can toss all the breadcrumbs you want
Into the stream
With a “Boruch atah Adonai” for each damn one.
My woman knees refuse to buckle
Even for a god.

So you are welcome at my seder.
But know that in my home
The gefilte fish are seasoned with rebellion
And we do things just slightly
Out of order.


Ana Kusserow

Vermont Commons School, South Burlington, VT
FINALIST, 11th Annual Poetry Prize for High School Girls in New England

Our Father’s Garden

May in scraggly Vermont,
   our father sneaks out into the aching meadows,
branches bent from the carnage of a long winter.

Like some saintly patron of spring,
   in his dog-haired greying fleece
and halo of blonde hair,

broken in, leather boot hands,
   tending to his little ones
viciously green in their youth.

The bulbs, his first born,
   taut as we were back then,
embellied, about to burst.

In the coming months the garden will engulf him,
   pulling and twisting with vines and tendrils,
swallow him whole.

He is their prophet, their sun.
   From the window we watch, our hot blood animal eyes
he cannot see.

Thorny jealousy clambers up
   the stiff pipes of our throat.
Rapping on the glass.

fiercely we scheme,
   perhaps we’ll squash the seedlings,
perhaps we’ll lie there too.

2015 - 2016

WINNER

Mirushe Zylali, Brookfield High School, Brookfield, CT for "Diaspora Anaphora"

FINALISTS

Michelle Chen, Hunter College High School, New York, NY for "Wanting, 1999"

Abigail Dwight, Pomperaug High School, Southbury, CT for "The Calling"

Abigayle Hodson, Westover School, Middlebury, CT for "Meadow Under Snow"

Catherine Wise, Milton Academy, Milton, MA, for "Other"


2014 - 2015

WINNER

Clara Henderson, The Sharon Academy, Sharon, VT for "Daddy"

FINALISTS

Mallory Chabre, Rockville High School, Vernon, CT for "Every Bad Thing Happened on a Tuesday"

Sarah Norden, Maine Coast Waldorf School, Freeport, ME, for "To His Landlocked Lover"

Joscelyn Norris, Westover School, Middlebury, CT for "Tides"


2013 - 2014

WINNER

Maria Theano Juran, St. Luke's School, New Caanan, CT for "you don't know anything so don't even"

FINALISTS

Ruting Li, Milton Academy, Milton, MA for "Ode to Summer Storms"

Courtney Breiner, the Emma Willard School, Troy, NY for "Sweetheart, you were rude"

Isabelle Ness, Northampton High School, Northampton, MA for "When No One's Watching"


2012 - 2013 

WINNER

Helena Ainsworth, Newburyport High School, Newburyport, MA for "Space Cadet Noggin Socket Helmet"

FINALISTS

Annalise Cain, Pioneer Valley Performing Arts Public Charter School, South Hadley, MA for "Porky the Papa"

Deja Carr, Pioneer Valley Performing Arts Public Charter School, South Hadley, MA for "John Deere and Aunt Jemima"

Nadia Gribkova, the Westover School, Middlebury, CT for "Daybreak"


2011 - 2012

WINNER

Taite Puhala, the Westminster School, Simsbury, CT for "a cappella"

FINALISTS

Riley Boeth, the Westover School, Middlebury, CT for "A Last Apology"

Madeleine Chill, Homeschooled, Andover, CT for "Antlers"

Kathleen Reilly, Marblehead High School, Marblehead, MA for "Looking for Why"


2010 - 2011

WINNER

Juliette Rose Wunrow, U-32 High School, Montpelier, VT for "Unconventional Couples"

FINALISTS

Natalie Freidin, Homeschooled, Marblehead, MA for "Things a Stripper Does While Trapped Inside a Cake"

Hayley McKie, Algonquin Regional High School, Northborough, MA for "Untitled"

Reina Sekiguchi, Marblehead High School, Marblehead, MA for "Bellum Inferre"

Katie Spencer, Sharon Academy, Sharon, VT for "Trumpeting"


2009 - 2010

WINNER

Haeyeon Cho, Milton Academy, Milton, MA for "The Soup Kitchen"

FINALISTS

Samantha Ardoin, Phillips Exeter Academy, Exeter, NH for "No Meaning Intended"

Elizabeth Bennett, Milton Academy, Milton, MA for "Race Day"

Carly McIver, Marblehead High School, Marblehead, MA for "In Which a Past Shows Visions of the Future and the Mallard Duck Regrets His Choice of Living Quarters"


2008 - 2009

WINNER

Taylor Clarke, Phillips Academy Andover, Andover MA for "Charlotte Mason"

FINALISTS

Gabriella Fee, Walnut Hill High School for the Arts, Natick, MA for "Nobska"

Stephanie Saywell, Lawrence Academy, Groton, MA for "Candlewick"

Bryna Confrin-Shaw, Stoneleigh-Burnham School, Greenfield, MA for "Things Change Size"


2007 - 2008

WINNER

Maia ten Bring, Falmouth Academy, Falmouth, MA for "renunciation"

FINALISTS

Sarah Fitzgibbons, Frontier Regional High School, Deerfield, MA for "This Millennium's List"

Rebekah-Shireen Lefebrve, Hopkins Academy, Hadley, MA for "meeting"

Sadie McCarney, Walnut Hill School for the Arts, Natick, MA for "Swimming Pool"


2006 - 2007

WINNER

Sarah Loucks, Milton Academy, Milton, MA for "In Memoriam"

FINALISTS

Michaela Forfa, Monument Mountain Regional High School, Great Barrington, MA for "Turn-Down Service"

Joanna Rosenberg, Westford Academy, Westford, MA for "i'm smaller than yesterday"

Elizabeth Scheer, the Williston Northampton School, Easthampton, MA for "Alone on Bedford Street"

 

 

 

 

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Every gift helps, whether to fund a visit by a far-flung poet or to support our outreach activities, video and library collection or student staff. Donate online or make checks payable to Smith College and mail to The Boutelle-Day Poetry Center at Smith College, c/o Gift Accounting, Stoddard Annex, 23 Elm Street, Northampton, MA 01063. Thank you for your generous support!