This marked our 3rd annual TEEN SEQUINS feature, and phew, ya’ll are growing up so fast. Have a look and see, in their own words, what happened for some of our teens (past and present) this year!
2016’s Age 19 featured poet Brad Trumpfheller had poems appear in Breakwater Review, Muzzle, Gigantic Sequins, Indiana Review, and elsewhere. Poems of theirs are forthcoming in 2018 from West Branch, Puerto del Sol, and The Nation. Find them on Twitter at @bradtrumpfh!
Since early fall of this year, 2017’s Age 15 featured poet Emily Tian has been kept plenty busy reading poetry submissions to The Adroit Journal!
For Daniel Blokh, 2015’s Age 14 featured poet, 2017 brought conflict after the folding of ELJ Publications, which was to publish his chapbook Grimmening the next year. However, after a number of presses opened their doors to dropped ELJ manuscripts, Grimmening was picked up by Diode Editions (an absolute dream press!) for publication in 2018. This, along with the publication of his first chapbook, Holding Myself Hostage in the Kitchen (Lit City Publishing, 2017), has made 2017 a year of incredible blessings – and excitement for the next! Find him on Twitter at @danielblokh!
This year, 2016’s Age 18 featured poet Talia Flores was published in Glass: A Journal of Poetry, The Shade Journal, Hobart, and Cosmonauts Avenue. She has work forthcoming in Bennington Review and Tinderbox Poetry Journal, in which she is a finalist for the 2017 Brett Elizabeth Jenkins Poetry Prize.
This year, 2015’s Age 16 featured poet Kathryn Hargett is a college kid from Alabama, a Best of the Net and Pushcart-nominee, and a Kundiman fellow in poetry. Her work has been recognized by Princeton University, the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers, the National YoungArts Foundation, the Poetry Society of the United Kingdom, and others. She is the editor-in-chief of TRACK//FOUR, a literary magazine for people of color, and interns for Winter Tangerine. Her work appears or is forthcoming in Anomaly (FKA Drunken Boat), the Adroit Journal, Tinderbox Poetry Journal, and Cosmonauts Avenue.
2017’s Age 14 featured poet Sarah Feng recently turned 15! This February, she started writing poetry. Now a poetry alum of the The Adroit Journal Summer Mentorship Program, she received the the Best of Issue scholarship for the summer issue of National Poetry Quarterly and the 2017 Critical Pass Junior Poet Award. Her works have been published in the Rising Phoenix Review, Up the Staircase Quarterly, Sugar Rascals, and Black Napkin Press, and are forthcoming in Glass: A Journal of Poetry. This year, she also recovered from a broken ankle, helped open an art camp, and joined cross country.
It’s the moment you’ve all been waiting for… here’s whose fabulous work is included within the pages of Gigantic Sequins issue 9.1, currently in production.
Thanks so much to everyone who entered and also to our judges for the 6th annual Gigantic Sequins summer contests. Here are the results!
WINNER, selected by Melissa Goodrich
Blue Honey – Celia Daniels
“A Hand to the Nearest” – Vincent Carafano
“The Gargoyles Survey Their City” – Jennifer Fliss
“Ketsui, the Town the Clouds Left Forever” – Youssef Helmi
“How Then” – Anna Vangala Jones
“Wheels and Bushings” – Maureen Langloss
“Alvin” – Vincent Poturica
“The Attraction of Older Traditions” – Anne Weisgerber
“Princess Shipwreck” – Tessa Yang
POETRY, selected by Eduardo C. Corral
“The Luster of Everything I’m Already Forgetting” – Nicole Rollender
“the ghost of the dead sea rewrites the history of drowning” – George Abraham
“Womandream” – Caroline Chavatel
“all the dead boys” – Sage Curtis
“The Target” – José Hernández Díaz
“Directions to My Body for the Uninitiated” – Alexa Doran
“LOOK MUDHOLE, THEY BULLDOZED THE MTN & PUT A DOLLAR GENERAL IN” – Evan Gray
“[Live]Stream” – Ashley Gong
“Glazed Case” – Rebecca Hazelton
“Consider” – Megan LeAnne
In Juniper Cruz’s “Dear Summer,” rage is entwined with sweet and with death. Cruz’s speaker wears the rage, a “t-shirt you made out of a boy//the one that punched me and kissed me/on the same night(,)” you being Summer, something larger. Wears the t-shirt in memory, memoriam, thankful for both what is lost and what remains. As the poem progresses, Cruz’s speaker addresses not Summer but Irony, then not Irony but Death, though maybe these are synonymous. Cruz gives this gratitude to us, for what comes next. –Robby Auld
Juniper Cruz is a trans Afro-Latina from Hartford, Connecticut. She is currently an undergraduate student at Kenyon College. Her work has appeared in publications such as The Atlantic, Poets.org, and Beech Street Review.
Honorable mentions: Hannah Brauer (University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI); Ashton Carlile (Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, NY); Ethan Chua (Stanford University, Stanford, CA); Peyton Ipsaro (Kent State University, Kent, OH); Lilly Keefe-Powers (University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN); Hannah Sheinkman (Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, NY)
Where “wires are like black eels” and wind is seen as “a bright coil,” Lucie Richter-Mahr engages with a world we have seen and yet, not-imagined. The title tells us of a more than reluctant invitation, but invited, we are given glimpses of a landscape containing immense strangeness, a strangeness we might not otherwise see without Richter-Mahr as our guide. The speaker’s world seems to tilt as she observes the ‘you’ in a space where she has not wanted to see them; how different the world can be, depending on who stands beside us, or who we stand there thinking of. — Sophie Klahr
I didn’t want to take you to the Scots pines
Lucie Richter-Mahr was born in London and moved to Scotland when she was five. She grew up in Berlin, finished high school in Oxford, and will be attending Edinburgh university this autumn. She believes in Anne Carson and Patti Smith.
Honorable mentions: Matilda Berke (Wellesley College, Wellesley, MA); Alixa Brobbey (Brigham Young Univeristy, Provo, UT); Jessica Chang (University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI); Steven Chung (Middlebury College, Middlebury, VT); Annabelle Crowe (Rice University, Houston, TX); Jasmine Cui (SUNY Geneseo, Geneseo, NY); Amelia Van Donsel (Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY); Logan February (University of Ibadan, Nigeria); Justin Han (Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, RI); Caldwell Gregg Holden (Bennington College, Bennington, VT); Avelynne Kang (Concordia University, Montréal, QC); Devanshi Khetarpal (New York University, New York, NY); Caroline Lee (The Hill School, Pottstown, PA); Hannah Leonard (Homewood-Flossmoor High School, Flossmoor, IL); Sharon Lin (Stuyvesant High School, New York, NY); Courtney Munkres (New Orleans Center for Creative Arts, New Orleans, LA); Reuben Gelley Newman (Swarthmore College, Swarthmore, PA); Erin O’Malley (University of Rochester, Rochester, NY); Annasofia Padua (Miami Arts Charter, Miami, FL); Emily Ramsey (John Burroughs High School, Burbank, CA); Khamil Olivia Riley (Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT); Svetlana Sterlin (Queensland University of Technology, Australia); Emma Stinson (Mt. Blue High School, Farmington, ME); Emily Yin (Princeton University, Princeton, NJ); Zuyi Zhao (Stanford University, Stanford, CA)
One could characterize Sabine Holzman’s poem as haunted or chilling, but these convenient descriptors would miss the subtle twists of this insistent engagement with memory and grief. “Elegy for My Ghost Mother” is a poem of surprising violence, its lines stretching across the page like a drawn out threat. “Here is the truth: you did not raise me to be kind,” writes Holzman, and the truth again and again is presented in a bluntness only cold can cause, as the speaker’s body becomes a frozen lake, an icicle, something a knife is named after. — Sophie Klahr
Elegy for My Ghost Mother
Sabine Holzman is a poet and student from Southern California. Her writing has been recognized by the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, Chapman’s Annual Holocaust Art and Writing Contest, the California Coastal Commission, and has appeared in numerous small magazines. In her free time, she enjoys petting her dogs and reading about girls raised by wolves.
Honorable mentions: Brittany Adames (Emerson College, Boston, MA); Sophie Allen (University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA); Margot Armbruster (Brookfield Academy, Brookfield, WI); Marie B (Blue Valley High School, Stilwell, KS); Madison Bissonette (Owatonna Senior High, Owatonna, MN); Emma Camp (Alabama School of Fine Arts, Birmingham, AL); Joseph Felkers (Grand Rapids Catholic Central High School, Grand Rapids, MI); Kate I. Foley; Aidan Forster (Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities, Greenville, SC); M.E. Funke (Los Osos High School, Rancho Cucamonga, CA); Delaney Gaughan (McKinney North High School, McKinney, TX); Farah Ghafoor (Vincent Massey Secondary School, Windsor, ON); Lily Goldberg (Hunter College High School, New York, NY); Yuri Han (Tenafly High School, Tenafly, NJ); Vincent Hao (Liberal Arts and Science Academy, Austin, TX); Rachana Hegde (Hong Kong International School, Hong Kong); Ty Kia (Auburn High School, Rockford, IL); Danie Knopf-Weinstein (The Fine Arts Center, Greenville, SC); Claire S. Lee (Canyon Crest Academy, San Diego, CA); Morgan Levine (High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, Houston, TX); Enshia Li (Bayview Secondary School, Richmond Hill, ON); Caitlyn N. Mlodzik (The Vanguard School, Colorado Springs, CO); Rebecca Northup (University of California, Santa Cruz, CA); Sarah Pearl; Lenna Peterson (Chillicothe High School, Chillicothe, MO); Joey Puckett (Edina High School, Edina, MN); Jeniffer Quintela (Miami Arts Charter, Miami, FL); Alex Barrera Reyes (Alamo Heights High School, San Antonio, TX); Magnus Saebo (Upper Arlington High School, Columbus, OH); Elizabeth Sheedy (Norwell High School, Norwell, MA); Sahara Sidi (Appomattox Regional Governor’s School for the Arts and Technology, Petersburg, VA); Tanya Singh (Bhavan Vidyalaya, Chandigarh, India); Griffin Somaratne (The Thacher School, Newbury Park, CA); Lizz Stay (Southern Utah University, South Jordan, UT); Stephanie Tom (Roslyn High School, Roslyn Heights, NY); Noah Williams (Arlington High School, Lagrangeville, NY); Topaz Winters (Singapore American School, Singapore); Alisha Yi (Ed W. Clark High School, Las Vegas, NV); Soo Young Yun (Chadwick International, Incheon, South Korea); Joyce Zhou (Neuqua Valley High School, Naperville, IL)