When first reading Vidhima Shetty’s poem, I misread “the world is something more // to clench my fists around” as “the world is more than something // to clench my fists around.” Perhaps I misread Shetty’s line because what the poem does with the world is honor and fight, embrace and reject. The poem is a glimpse of young struggle at its finest, its desire to “transcend in all the wrong places.” And I remember that, the moment of being 17, feeling simultaneously old and young, being able to feel the world splitting, things that felt like truth becoming visible then drifting away again. But when I was 17, I couldn’t say it like Shetty does, and she does it, (as her poem sings) “waking and spring-fisted.” – Sophie Klahr
What Did Me In
Vidhima Shetty is a rising senior from the Bay Area in California. Her poetry has been recognized by Scholastic Art & Writing and Hollins University, and her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Red Queen Literary Magazine, Moledro Magazine, and Eloquence, among others. When she is not writing poetry, she is watching anime and drinking milk tea.
HONORABLE MENTIONS: TiKa Wallace (George Mason HS, Falls Church, VA); Caroline Grand-Clement (Cité Scolaire Internationale, Lyon, France); Davis Mathis (Pace Academy, Atlanta, GA); Allison Lin (Syosset HS, Syosset, NY); Jojan (Jay) Padua (Galileo Academy of Science and Technology, San Francisco, CA); Bronwen Brenner (Baruch College Campus HS, New York, NY); Katie Hurwitz (Walpole HS, Walpole, MA); Vivian Parkin DeRosa (Communications HS, Ocean Township, NJ); Jessica Lao (Westminster Schools, Atlanta, GA); Jennifer Jantzen (Concord HS, Concord, MA); Breanna Trigona (West Boca Raton Community HS, Boca Raton, FL); Samia Menon (Hawken School, Cleveland, OH); Haemaru Chung (Trinity School, New York, NY); Claire Parsons (Hellgate HS, Missoula, MT); Isabelle Edgar (Falmouth HS, Falmouth, MA); Madina Malahayati Chumaera (Global Jaya School, Greater Jakarta, Indonesia); Zoe Kramer (Nova Classical Academy, St.Paul, MN); Quinn Filler (Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities, Greenville, SC); Carolyn Stein (New Roads School, Los Angeles, CA); Grace Lytle (Kinder HS for the Performing and Visual Arts, Houston, TX); Sophie Parsa (Germantown HS Jackson, MI); Eliza Browning (Wheaton College, Norton, MA); Aidan Aragon (Wausaukee HS, Wausaukee, WI); Emily Chen (Williams College, Williamstown, MA); Josh Schlachter (Orange County School of the Arts, Santa Ana, CA); Dana Chiueh (International Bilingual School, Hsinchu City, Taiwan); Laura Liu (Conestoga HS, Wayne, PA); Anna Butcher (Alabama School of Fine Arts, Birmingham, AL); Carly Civello (Lancaster Country Day School, Lancaster, PA); Sarah M. Zhou (Naperville North HS, Naperville, IL); Anna Shahbazyan (Marblehead HS, Marblehead, MA), Bessie Huang (Eleanor Roosevelt HS, Greenbelt, MD); Vanessa Tsao (Taipei American School, Taipei, Taiwan); Keira DiGaetano (Richard Montgomery HS, Rockville, MD); Susan Li (Deerfield Academy, Deerfield, MA); Worlanyo Mensah (Mount Olive HS, Mount Olive, NJ); Evan Hochstein (Liberal Arts and Science Academy, Austin, TX); Olivia Hu (Port Moody Secondary School, Port Moody, British Columbia, Canada); Corrine Barker (Hackettstown HS, Hackettstown, NJ); Veronica Palacios, Juliana Schlaen, Emily Garroway, Hadassah Amani, (Miami Arts Charter, Miami, FL); Hanah Shields, Kendall Hunt, Kate Soupiset (Alamo Heights HS, San Antonio, TX)