Contest Results

Thanks to all who submitted. Below spotlights the winners of our first annual Art & Writing Contest!

 
Daniel Liu.jpeg

"A Good Chinese Son"
Poetry Contest Winner 

"This poem is magnetic in its ability to marry delicacy to brutality. The refrain of “Bà” helps usher along the music of the lines, almost like a drum. I also love the thematic layers that this poem creates by leaning into the Chinese architectural landscape: desire as disorder, as danger, as the divine."—Esther Sun, 2021 Poetry Contest Judge

"'A Good Chinese Son' immediately draws you in and never lets go. The imagery is surreal and biting but with a deeply poignant and personal touch. This is a poet with a truly bright future ahead of them."—Ottavia Paluch, 2021 Poetry Contest Judge 

Daniel Liu (he/him/他) is a Chinese-American writer, editor, and musician from Orlando, FL. His work appears or is forthcoming in Diode Poetry Journal, Kissing Dynamite, National Poetry Quarterly, and elsewhere. His work has been recognized by YoungArts, the Bowseat Organization, and the Live Poets' Society of New Jersey. He founded and currently runs INKSOUNDS, an interdisciplinary arts gallery. His debut chapbook, COMRADE, is forthcoming from fifth wheel press. Find him online @danielliu_1 or at daniel-liu-carrd.co. (<--- broken link)

AD805A55-5FD5-47FB-AA5E-05232B0363F0.jpeg

"Bird, Reborn"
Poetry Contest Runner-up

"An arresting portrait of a kind of dissonance with the self that I often find myself lacking the vocabulary for. The imagery and language is strange, eerie. Wonderful. And what an unforgettable voice." —Esther Sun, 2021 Poetry Contest Judge

"I was incredibly impressed by the techinical skill and grasp of language that is on display in this poem. Just when you think you've read every great poem on birds out there, 'Bird, Reborn,' comes around and leaves you breathless."—Ottavia Paluch, 2021 Poetry Contest Judge

Yong-Yu Huang [bio]

 
Harsimran Kaur.JPG

"We Are the Orphans"
Prose Contest Winner 

"Compelling, unflinching story about the lives of three girls struggling to find their identity. The languages weaves together, creating a dreamy, sensual summer. The writing, like our characters, is bold and sharp."—Grace Q. Song, 2021 Prose Contest Judge

"Gorgeous linework, tight scenes, interesting -- but not heavy-handed -- magical realism. The author has a gift for knowing exactly when to enter and leave a scene. Each moment with these girls felt precise, careful, and true."—Kaya Dierks, 2021 Prose Contest Judge 

Harsimran Kaur is a seventeen-year-old author of three books. Her work has been recognized by the Oxford University Press India, Royal Commonwealth Society and the International Human Rights Art Festival among others. When she is not re-reading The Catcher in the Rye for the quadrillionth time, or writing love letters to David Foster Wallace, she loves to teach her invisible students. Her Instagram is @wherearemyclementines and her website is www.harsimranwritesbooks.com/. She is a senior at her high school in India.

AD805A55-5FD5-47FB-AA5E-05232B0363F0.jpeg

"The Disappearing Act"
Prose Contest Runner-up

"I loved the awareness of this piece concerning diaspora writing and the pressures of being a writer of color, how these issues were framed within the context of the grandmother's passing -- it was well-executed, balanced, and not overdone. The language is gorgeous, attentive, and precise. " —Grace Q. Song, 2021 Prose Contest Judge

"The themes here were excellent and rendered with a precise hand. As a "diaspora writer," I loved this author's careful exploration of what it means to write about heritage -- what it means to hold language on your tongue."—Kaya Dierks, 2021 Prose Contest Judge

Adelina Rose Gowans [bio]

 
headshot.jpg

"Atlantis, reimagined"
Art Contest Winner 

"Lovely, deftly-rendered images — “the moon presses her hooks into my hands,” for one — and nice manipulation of form to flow like water. I’d recommend checking out Zong! by M. Nourbese Philip if you haven’t read it yet for more on this kind of form. The thematic nod towards fatherhood/motherhood is a good start — from there, I would consider what images or narratives can be elicited to bring the poem from general to specific stakes."—Esther Sun, 2021 Poetry Contest Judge

"The materials that the artist considered and the overall concept are beautifully interwoven. It is an artwork that one can go back to repeatedly and discover something new. The fact that the process was also part of the work is equally as important. I really applaud the artist in their efforts here. This is an exceptional work."—Emily Knapp, 2021 Art Contest Judge 

Miye Sugino [bio]

AD805A55-5FD5-47FB-AA5E-05232B0363F0.jpeg

"All the littlest imperfections"
Art Contest Runner-up

"I admire this poem’s sharp language and visceral imagery of the body — it really took hold of my senses. To make this aspect even more powerful, though it may seem counterintuitive, I might recommend including imagery/language that is unrelated to the body so that the current imagery will stand out in contrast without feeling as heavy-handed." —Esther Sun, 2021 Poetry Contest Judge

"The artist uses color is an effective way that creates depth and dimensionality to the subject. The composition is balanced, there is movement, and the viewer's eyes are encouraged to move around the drawing. The foreshortening is well done. A strong submission. "—Emily Knapp, 2021 Art Contest Judge

Angela Xu [bio]

 
headshot.jpg

"Unbindings"
Poetry Contest Finalist 

"Lovely, deftly-rendered images — “the moon presses her hooks into my hands,” for one — and nice manipulation of form to flow like water. I’d recommend checking out Zong! by M. Nourbese Philip if you haven’t read it yet for more on this kind of form. The thematic nod towards fatherhood/motherhood is a good start — from there, I would consider what images or narratives can be elicited to bring the poem from general to specific stakes."—Esther Sun, 2021 Poetry Contest Judge

"The lack of puncation in this poem reminded me of W.S. Merwin's work - you're well on the way to becoming as great of a poet as he was! To make your poem even better I'd love to see you condense it a bit so that, like, Esther said, the stakes of the poem overall are condensed."—Ottavia Paluch, 2021 Poetry Contest Judge 

Avery H. Yoder-Wells named themselves when they were thirteen, and the "H" stands for nothing. Currently a sophomore studying creative writing, they have won several national and state awards for their prose and poetry. On weekends, they can be found chasing the affection of their two cats.

AD805A55-5FD5-47FB-AA5E-05232B0363F0.jpeg

"Good Bones"
Poetry Contest Finalist 

"I admire this poem’s sharp language and visceral imagery of the body — it really took hold of my senses. To make this aspect even more powerful, though it may seem counterintuitive, I might recommend including imagery/language that is unrelated to the body so that the current imagery will stand out in contrast without feeling as heavy-handed." —Esther Sun, 2021 Poetry Contest Judge

"I will admit, I rooted extremely hard for this poem to go far in the judging process of this contest, and for good reason! To make it even better, I'd encourage you to add an additional sentence onto the end of your poem to give the reader the knockout punch you've built up so well towards."—Ottavia Paluch, 2021 Poetry Contest Judge

Brooke Nind is a teen writer from Southern California. She is the founding editor-in-chief of Intersections Magazine and a Senior Editor at Polyphony Lit. Her work has been recognized by the National Scholastic Art & Writing Awards and the Poetry Society UK’s Young Poets Network and can be found in Cathartic Lit and Ice Lolly Review. 

"Instructions from Maria" and "The Disappearing Act"
Poetry Contest Finalist & Prose Contest Runner-up

"The beginning and ending of this poem was fantastic. I do think you can go a bit deeper in this poem, though. What if you did a two-part poem where the second half was the mother after the daughter held the inheritance that they speak of in this poem? Judging from what you already have, the possibilities are endless!"—Ottavia Paluch, 2021 Prose Contest Judge

"I loved the awareness of this piece concerning diaspora writing and the pressures of being a writer of color, how these issues were framed within the context of the grandmother's passing -- it was well-executed, balanced, and not overdone. The language is gorgeous, attentive, and precise." —Grace Q. Song, 2021 Poetry Contest Judge

Headshot .jpg

Brooke Nind is a teen writer from Southern California. She is the founding editor-in-chief of Intersections Magazine and a Senior Editor at Polyphony Lit. Her work has been recognized by the National Scholastic Art & Writing Awards and the Poetry Society UK’s Young Poets Network and can be found in Cathartic Lit and Ice Lolly Review. 

IMG_6684 2.jpg

"Chinatown Pt. 2" 
Proetry Contest Finalist 

"I absolutely love the imagery in this poem, particularly the way you bring together urban/architectural structures with animal figures in the first half of the poem. One aspect that didn’t hit as hard for me was all of the cosmic references (sun/stars/moon) in such close proximity to each other — I think choosing one cosmic image and weaving it in with different/unfamiliar language might help the latter half of the poem stick in our minds better." —Esther Sun, 2021 Poetry Contest Judge

"Prose poems are so tough to pull off, but yours had real teeth. If you decide to tinker with this poem more in the future, I'd love to see you pay more attention to where you place your slash marks - I'd love to see a few sprinkled in at the end of the poem." —Ottavia Paluch, 2021 Poetry Contest Judge

Samantha Hsiung is a high school student in California. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Diode Poetry Journal, The Rising Phoenix Review, Eunoia Review, and Cosmonauts Avenue, among others. Besides writing, she enjoys fencing, reading, playing the piano, watching anime, and listening to music.

 
headshot.jpg

"How to be a monster"
Prose Contest Finalist

"This is a vulnerable, admirable story that explored the struggles of identity through multiple lenses. I enjoyed reading it very much. The use of numbers to structure of the story worked well, and there's heart to this piece. I would suggest pulling back on the monster metaphor -- I was actually much more interested and refreshed by the use of the good lotus daughter metaphor as a potential characterization of the narrator and indication of the narrator's inability to conform."—Grace Q. Song, 2021 Prose Contest Judge

"The unique form of this story -- second person and instructional -- was excellent and added another dimension to the narrative. If I had one piece of constructive criticism, it would be that you might want to consider playing with ambiguity -- what thematic work needs to be stated, and what can be left unsaid?"—Kaya Dierks, 2021 Prose Contest Judge 

Aristotle X. [bio]

AD805A55-5FD5-47FB-AA5E-05232B0363F0.jpeg

"Yellow is Not a Flattering Color"
Prose Contest Finalist 

"I love the heart that's in this piece and the loving attention to detail of all things yellow. The narrator's voice is humorous, engaging, and easily draws the reader in. One suggestion is to reconsider the ending; it's a bit too on the nose. Often, our endings are actually earlier, especially if the line ends on an image and leaves room for the reader to savor. " —Grace Q. Song, 2021 Prose Contest Judge

"I loved how this work explored the internal and external racism, and I particularly liked the nuanced and compelling take on KPop's rise. One piece of constructive feedback I have is that you might want to end on an image, rather than a statement; Grace and I have made a suggested revision for you to consider."—Kaya Dierks, 2021 Prose Contest Judge

Matt Hsu is a high school senior from San Francisco, California. He works as a poetry/prose editor at Cathartic Youth Literary Magazine and Kalopsia Lit. His work has been recognized by the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards, and he’s published or forthcoming in Polyphony Lit, Blue Marble Review, ANGLES, and Versification Zine. Currently, he’s querying his first novel, a thriller-mystery about a crafty assassin. In his spare time, he enjoys playing tennis and eating dark chocolate. You can find him on Twitter at @MattHsu19.

 
headshot.jpg

"Yellow Melting"
Art Contest Finalist

"Lovely, deftly-rendered images — “the moon presses her hooks into my hands,” for one — and nice manipulation of form to flow like water. I’d recommend checking out Zong! by M. Nourbese Philip if you haven’t read it yet for more on this kind of form. The thematic nod towards fatherhood/motherhood is a good start — from there, I would consider what images or narratives can be elicited to bring the poem from general to specific stakes."—Esther Sun, 2021 Poetry Contest Judge

"The lack of puncation in this poem reminded me of W.S. Merwin's work - you're well on the way to becoming as great of a poet as he was! To make your poem even better I'd love to see you condense it a bit so that, like, Esther said, the stakes of the poem overall are condensed."—Ottavia Paluch, 2021 Poetry Contest Judge 

Maggie Yang [bio]

AD805A55-5FD5-47FB-AA5E-05232B0363F0.jpeg

"Mysterious Adventure"
Art Contest Finalist 

"I admire this poem’s sharp language and visceral imagery of the body — it really took hold of my senses. To make this aspect even more powerful, though it may seem counterintuitive, I might recommend including imagery/language that is unrelated to the body so that the current imagery will stand out in contrast without feeling as heavy-handed." —Esther Sun, 2021 Poetry Contest Judge

"I will admit, I rooted extremely hard for this poem to go far in the judging process of this contest, and for good reason! To make it even better, I'd encourage you to add an additional sentence onto the end of your poem to give the reader the knockout punch you've built up so well towards."—Ottavia Paluch, 2021 Poetry Contest Judge

Sarah Nielsen [bio]