H.S. Poetry Prize 2015-2016

An annual prize for sophomore and junior girls in New England


front, seated: Mira Zylali, winner, Judge Marilyn Chin, Finalist Abigayle Hodson
rear, standing: Finalists Michelle Chen, Catie Wise, and Abigail Dwight

Award: $500

Judge for 2016: Marilyn Chin

The winner & four finalists will read their poems at the Judge’s reading at Smith College.

2016 Winner:

Mirushe Zylali (Brookfield High School, CT), for “Diaspora Anaphora”


  • Michelle Chen (Hunter College High School, NYC), for “Wanting, 1999”
  • Abigail Dwight (Pomperaug High School, CT), for “The Calling”
  • Abigayle Hodson (Westover School, CT), for “Meadow under Snow”
  • Catherine Wise (Milton Academy, MA), for “Other”

Read the winning poems here!


Congratulations also to these semifinalists, whose work stood out from the large number of entries:

  • Patricia Collins from Westover School, Middlebury, CT for “Buttercup”
  • Joyce Hida from Rockville High School, Vernon, CT for “Daughter’s Decade in Thirds”
  • Jo DeWaal from Greenwich Academy, Greenwich, CT for “Measure of Time”
  • Aya Burton from Arlington High School, Arlington, MA for “Christmas Tree Season”
  • Emma Crockford from Rising Tide Charter Public School, Plymouth, MA for “South Street”
  • Dayani Chavarria Orellana from Boston Latin, Boston, MA for “The Perfect Human”
  • Emma Frazier from Pioneer Valley Performing Arts Charter Public School, South Hadley, MA for “Let Me Tell You About Happiness”


About the Judge:

Chin, MarilynMarilyn Chin was born in Hong Kong and raised in Portland, Oregon. Poet, translator, novelist, and anthologist, her books have become Asian American classics and are taught in classrooms internationally. Chin herself has directed the MFA Program at San Diego State University for many years, and given workshops at universities all over the world, including Singapore, Hong Kong, Sydney, Berlin and in the UK. The recipient numerous awards, including a Stegner Fellowship, the PEN/Josephine Miles Award, a Fulbright to Taiwan, as well as fellowships from the Rockefeller Foundation, and the NEA, she was also featured in Bill Moyers’ PBS series The Language of Life.