2012 Sejong Writing Competition
|First Place||Hollister Rhone
5th grade, Ted Lenart Regional Gifted Center
|Second Place||Mary Liza Hartong
12th grade, Harpeth Hall School
|Third Place||Alice Ra
6th grade, St. Margaret's Episcopal School
Friend of the Pacific Rim Award
10th grade, West Ranch High School
Palo Alto, CA
8th grade, Jane Lanthrop Stanford Middle School
8th grade, Ted Lenart Regional Gifted Center
7th grade, Boone Central Middle School
9th grade, The Bronx High School of Science
12th grade, Jericho High School
My name is Hollister Rhone. I am eleven years old and in the fifth grade at Ted Lenart Regional Gifted Center in Chicago, Illinois. I entered this competition after my English teacher, Mrs. Wallace, announced this contest to my class and encouraged all of us to submit a poem.
This type of poetry was new to me so I gave it a shot. In fact, it was really fun! At first it was hard to think of an idea for the sijo poem, but then it hit me! My family had been fostering a pit bull terrier named Gomez. When we found him as a stray it was clear that he had been abused and neglected for most of his life. During his first few weeks with us he seemed really sad. It was then that I realized he had no voice when he was being abused on the streets. He couldn't do anything about it except run. I started thinking that maybe animals do have voices and you just have to listen carefully to hear them. That's why I wrote this poem.
My future goal is simple. To keep writing. Whenever I have an idea, I write it down, and I want to continue to do that. I am on a high-level competitive gymnastics team, and between writing and gymnastics, there's nothing more I can ask for.
My name is Eunice Hong. I am an 11th grade student at West Ranch High School. When I first heard that I won an honorable mention in the sijo competition, I was quite surprised. I had first heard about this competition from my Journalism teacher and although I had put in a lot of effort, I never thought I would win. I got my idea for my sijo from watching my brother play the piano. I thought to myself, "How can he play it with such ease while I can't read piano music for my life?" And that was how my idea was born. Writing my sijo not only helped me learn the background of the classical form of poetry but also helped me learn more about the Korea's culture altogether. It also helped me gain confidence in my writing skills and motivated me to continue challenging myself.
My hobbies are reading, shopping, listening to music, and hanging out with my friends. I also love to help out at the hospital in my own free time. My personal heroes are my parents because they are always there to listen to my problems and encourage me to do new things. In the future, I hope to become a pharmacist and help sick people who can't afford the medicine.
I, Grace Park, am the kind of slightly off-beat person who will dream of flying over clouds on sliver wings and needs someone to turn on the light and show me that I've stuck my head in the fridge and am holding silver frying pans. So it's perfectly understandable that I've been struggling with how to describe myself for the past week.
My conclusion? I think I am best defined as a contradiction; a beautifully complex, baffling set of contradictions contradicting each other. I want to become a cryptographer or a diplomat (two very different professions); I enjoy apples and rice in just about everything, but believe chocolate should be kept pure and holy; my friends argue about whether I would be a better Luna Lovegood or Hermione Granger (as they have been for the past four years); I am the very definition of Mephistophelean, but my friends come to me for a laugh or advice (although, that could just be because my friends are pretty weird, too); and I love showers but hate swimming.
Despite all that, I've had a few constants in my life, and one of those is my love of anything to do with literature. One of my favorite poems is Celestial Music by Louise Gluck. Read it. And if you don't like it, read it again. And again. Repeat ad infinitum until you like it.
I am a 7th grade student at Boone Central Middle School in Petersburg, Nebraska. I learned about sijo poetry in my language arts class at school. I chose to write my poem about my grandmother because she is my hero, and when she had to be in the hospital this year, I realized how hard it is to stay strong when a person is sad and scared. I hope my sijo expresses this conflict of emotions.
My name is Daniel Thach. I am a 9th grade student at The Bronx High School of Science in New York. In my English class, I had the opportunity to learn about the unique form and style of Sijo poetry. I was then able to write my own Sijo poem and enter it in this competition. For my poem, I decided to express my overall unconfident and hesitant nature in the decisions I make. However, gaining acknowledgment for my poem has, in a way, helped strengthen my confidence. My future most likely involves being a scientist studying marine biology. I grew up observing and studying wildlife as a child. Being able to incorporate some of my interests into my Sijo poem made writing a very enjoyable process. Understanding and writing Sijo poems has been a very rewarding experience and has definitely expanded my interest in poems and writing in general.
My name is Danielle Zakian and I am currently a senior at Jericho High School. I plan on attending SUNY New Paltz in the fall of 2012, where I will be majoring in photography. I submitted my Sijo poem into this competition after my creative writing teacher, Mrs. Valenza, encouraged her students to participate. I am very excited and honored to be a Sijo winner and receive an honorable mention recognition.
I have learned numerous forms of writing styles and techniques throughout my year in creative writing. It was during the poetry unit that I became familiar with the Sijo technique of writing. Throughout this lesson, my teacher was able to demonstrate the fundamentals and requirements for this special poem. I realized how Sijo poems are unique and creative as they all share a common, disciplined structured format.
My hobbies are photography and writing. I take great pleasure in expressing my emotions through the arts. Whether it's taking a photograph or writing words upon a piece of paper, I am able to show the world how I truly feel. In my free time, I enjoy playing volleyball and going bowling. In the future, I would love to take photographs and combine them with my writing skills to create something extraordinary.