2023 Wisconsin Sijo Competition
Winners | Judges | Winners' Sijo
|Adult Division||Senior Division||Junior Division|
|Grand Prize||Cristina Norcross
|Killian Weston (tie)
|Ela Albrecht (tie)
Port Washington, WI
( ) Teacher's name
I would like to express my deep appreciation and thanks to the Center for East Asian Studies at the University of Wisconsin and the Sejong Cultural Society, for providing this wonderful opportunity to explore the Sijo form and enter this contest.
I first heard about the Sijo competition through both the Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets, as well as from my younger son’s creative writing teacher at Arrowhead High School, Elizabeth Jorgensen. I was fascinated by the Sijo form, which I was unfamiliar with at the time. I am primarily a free verse poet, but have dabbled with pantoums and villanelles. The short form poem is one that both confines and liberates the writer in the most beautiful ways. The trimming back, pruning, and refining involved in the editing process can create the higher-self version of a poem. It can be an extraordinary, poetic journey.
I have been the editor of Blue Heron Review, an online poetry journal, for the past 10 years. I am one of the co-founders of Random Acts of Poetry and Art Day, celebrated annually on February 20th, since 2012. I am also the author of 9 poetry collections. My most recent book is The Sound of a Collective Pulse (Kelsay Books, 2021). I host an online writing prompt group, teach creative writing workshops, and often host open mic poetry events. When I am not writing, I design semi-precious stone and wire-wrapped jewelry, knit countless scarves in the winter months, and spend time taking long walks by the water, along Lac La Belle, where we live in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin. (www.cristinanorcross.com)
Thank you to the Sejong Cultural Society and UW Center for East Asian Studies for promoting sijo in our state! It's wonderful that this poetic form is being introduced to a wider audience through your efforts. I first heard about the statewide competition a couple years ago through our wonderful local library, WJ Neiderkorn Library. Writing different forms of poetry really challenges a writer to think more mindfully about syllables, word choice, and structure. As someone who tends to write free verse poetry, I'm not used to thinking about all those "nuts and bolts" of poem construction. Moreover, varying forms of poetry can tell us a lot about the cultural and social trends that shaped them. Poetry is a dynamic force, and it's fascinating to think about how different forms spread, change, and interact with our current world.
I did not start writing poetry until I was in my mid-30's, and have no formal background in creative writing. I'm passionate about letting people know that poetry is for anyone and everyone. Writing and sharing your poetry can feel intimidating at first, but across cultures, poetry has often been an informal, social form of entertainment and impetus for dialogue. Local poetry events are so important in that way, and I'm trying to get poetry programs off the ground at our local senior center--wish me luck! My other passions include teaching tai chi, postcard exchanging, drinking coffee, and spending time outdoors. In 2019, I published a poetry collection, "Isthmus."
I am very grateful to the Sejong Cultural Society for the opportunity to enter this contest and to learn a new form of poetry. Most of my poems are written in free verse so writing in form really challenged me. The Sijo poem is one in which every word and syllable matters, causing all the extraneous to be cut away. It is a Korean verse form comprised of three lines of 14-16 syllables each.
I learned about the Sijo contest through the Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets, an amazing organization and group of people. I first started writing poems in 2020 when the pandemic hit as a way to anchor my feelings of isolation. I have written a poem a day since then. I live in Jefferson with my husband and two cats.
I have been encouraged by so many other poets, many total strangers, who have gone out of their way to help me in my journey with writing poems. I live in the area where the great American poet, Lorine Niedecker, lived (1903-1970). She has been an inspiration to me. Her poetry, like the Sijo,is often very concise and condensed. Niedecker’s poems often reflect the sparseness and solitude of her life on Blackhawk Island.
My name is Killian Weston and I am a senior at Arrowhead High School, and I will be attending UW-Madison this Fall 2023 for Economics.
My creative writing teacher, Elizabeth Jorgensen, introduced me to this style of poetry and I was immediately intrigued. Sijo was interesting to learn for me because I wanted to continue to grow my cultural palette. Sijo is beautiful because it grants the ability to create a beautiful poem to my liking but it adds an extra hurdle or 2 due to the format, which is what I love. I love challenging myself and my mind so I can grow.
I would like to formally thank my family, Mrs. Jorgensen, Mrs. Carnell, and the Sejong Cultural Society for this opportunity.
My name is Ela Albrecht, and I am a junior at Arrowhead High School in Hartland, Wisconsin. I found out about this competition through my creative writing teacher, Ms. Jorgensen.
I enjoy snowboarding and hanging out with my friends in the summer.
Some of my future goals include going to ASU. I'm not sure what I want to be when I grow up, but I am interested in something with business.
Hello, my name is Pavani Gupta, and I am an 8th grader at Slinger Middle school.
Mr.Walter, introduced me to this writing competition during one of our Authors club sessions. While writing, I started to notice the little things around me. This poem really taught me how to focus.
In my spare time, I like to draw and paint. I also like to hike.
I would like to thank Mr.Walter for introducing me to this topic.