Jan 09

Sam Aikman wins national contest!

CONGRATULATIONS TO YWP's SAM AIKMAN! Sam is the winner of the Academy of American Poets' 2020 National Poetry Month Poster Contest for Students for her art incorporating a line from the poem “Remember” by U. S. Poet Laureate Joy Harjo: “Remember all is in motion, is growing, is you.” See news release here: (https://poets.org/academy-american-poets-announces-winner-2020-national-poetry-month-poster-contest-students) Sam, Love to write on the site, is a longtime YWP writer and Community Leader.

She was quoted in the academy's news release: “Because the meaning of this sentence is so dynamic, I struggled with finding the way it should be conveyed. I contemplated writing the sentence on index cards, cardboard and paper leaves, and ultimately decided on ‘tree cookies,’ as my family calls them, because they seemed like the most natural option: they vary in size, are somewhat round, come from the forest, and they could hang freely, not fixed and at different heights.

"It was windy the day the words were hung up, and they moved a little when the photo was taken. It felt appropriate that they were tilted at different angles because it showed the natural element of being outside on a fall day, and it didn’t feel manufactured or staged. It looked almost as if the words appeared overnight on their own in the tree.

"In Vermont, fall is very vibrant; there are a few weeks where the foliage peaks, and the whole world glows with the change. This picture reflects the unique feeling of fall and the way the change makes me feel. This image engages the sentence in an organic way by showing the motion involved in life, the outdoors, and poetry that examines change, like ‘Remember.’”

Sam's artwork was selected from 10 finalists and 180 student submissions by former U.S. Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera and award-winning cartoonist Alison Bechdel. The Academy of American Poets will distribute 100,000 copies of the 2020 National Poetry Month poster featuring Sam's work to libraries, schools, bookstores, and community centers nationwide. Sam will receive $500 and arts supplies, and she will be featured in the April issue of American Poets magazine. 

Read the Academy of American Poets' news release.
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