This year’s three Scholarship winners are Simone Wesley, Lucia Kornzweig, and Indigo Eatmon. The Prize winners are Tina Mai, Jessica Kim, Fiona Lu, and Anna Yang
Beyond Baroque in Venice, one of the nation’s leading literary arts centers, is proud to announce the winners of the inaugural Amanda Gorman Future Voices Poetry Prize and Scholarship. This prize continues Beyond Baroque’s legacy of nurturing some of California’s finest poets, including Wanda Coleman, Amy Gerstler, and Amanda Gorman herself. This year’s three Scholarship winners are Simone Wesley, Lucia Kornzweig, and Indigo Eatmon. The Prize winners are Tina Mai, Jessica Kim, Fiona Lu, and Anna Yang.
The Amanda Gorman Future Voices Poetry Prize and Scholarship was created in honor of Beyond Baroque alumna and U.S. Presidential Inaugural Poet Amanda Gorman, who, like many other California poets and artists, spent the earliest days of her career attending workshops at Beyond Baroque. Through this opportunity, Beyond Baroque seeks to recognize poets enrolled in grades 9-12 in California, and who self-identify as Black, Indigenous, or people of color.
Simone Wesley, a recipient of the scholarship, said about her writing, “I’ve learned to use the emotions brought up by my circumstance to create poetry that not only serves as an outlet for myself, but provides an emotional conduit for others, as well.” About receiving the award, first place prize winner and O.C. Youth Poet Laureate Tina Mai said, “it’s always surreal to find out that my work is reaching people and being recognized – not just tucked away in a document on my laptop.” Amanda Gorman’s relationship with Beyond Baroque is also special to Mai, who has read Amanda’s latest poetry collection “a dozen times.”
The fund consisted of $10,000 in scholarship and poetry contest money for 9th, 10th, 11th, and college-bound 12th graders, an age range that reflects the early days of Amanda’s journey in poetry within the Beyond Baroque Student Poets’ program. College-bound students in 12th grade were eligible to apply for a scholarship award, and 9th, 10th and 11th graders were eligible to submit to the poetry contest. Beyond Baroque received approximately 130 applications across the scholarship and prize tracks, from students all over the state of California. The winners were selected by a panel of poets and writers.
“The volume of applicants, and the quality of their work, only confirms what we already know: the future of poetry is incredibly bright,” said Beyond Baroque’s executive director, Quentin Ring. “Beyond Baroque would like to thank and recognize all of the applicants who shared their writing with the organization. It was an honor for our panel to read each student’s work, and to be able to recognize seven talented, admirable young people whose talent and dedication to poetry all exemplify Amanda Gorman’s legacy.”
Beyond Baroque will host a reading with the scholarship and prize winners on October 1, 2022. More information about the event will be announced in the coming weeks, and can be found at beyondbaroque.org, and on all social media platforms at @bblitarts. The opening of applications for the next Amanda Gorman Future Voices Poetry Prize will be announced in 2023.