By OLIVIA RODRIGUEZ
Recently two Winters High School students won a Scholastic Writing Award. Emilia Orosco won a silver key (2nd in this region) for her poem, “I Am From,” and Esther Myers won a Gold Key (1st in the region) for her poem, “Heavenly Bodies” and is an American Voices Nominee.
The American Voices Medal for writers and American Visions Medal for artists are the highest regional honors presented by the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. Only one artist and one writer from each region is presented with this award each year. From the pool of nominees, an esteemed panel of jurors in New York City then selects one writer and one artist from each region to receive an American Visions or American Voices Medal.
These Medalists are recognized at the National Ceremony and “Art.Write.Now” exhibition in New York City.
The American Voices & Visions nominees are “Best in Show” awards that most exemplify originality, technical skill and the emergence of a personal voice or vision. Myer’s poem has been sent to New York City for National Review and is now being judged at the National Level.
National Awards will be announced in March. The Scholastic Art and Writing Awards is in its 95th year and these award-winning students join an elite group of past Scholastic winners including author Truman Capote, Steven King and poet Sylvia Plath.
Myers and Orosco were honored at an awards ceremony at Yuba Sutter Arts Burrows Theater on Thursday, Feb. 1, for the Northern California Region.
By Esther Myers
I wish acne scars would be seen as battle scars
Pocked cheeks a souvenir of a tackle with hormones
Thin lines of rubbery skin peppered with the faded red bumps:
Yeah, puberty fights dirty.
Stretch marks should be marveled with a sigh of reverence
Skin pulled taut where stars tried to escape your body
Isn’t that where babies come from?
Now I know why they call galaxies heavenly bodies.
These veins stick out like plump lines of blue ink
Leading like roads on maps to dots of cities
Every vein leads to the heart
Mine like to make pit stops on the way.
The dust on my legs and arms are forests of good omens
Does the hair on my lip make me any less
Of a woman?
It keeps me warm when kisses won’t do
A winter coat I’ll never grow out of
This skin is a child:
It cries in the heat,
It cracks in the cold
Maybe that is why dragons
With their rough scales and fiery tongues
Hide in caves to protect their gold.
You tell me,
Stop glorifying war.
And don’t you know—
Forests catch fire,
Cars crash, stars implode, your dragons
Were never real.
But see—this body is a battleground
And you have never wrapped your arms around a redwood
taller than a skyscraper
Driven on a country backroad when the sky is full
Of ink, and stars, and
If I look closely enough
and with enough love
to coax out the warmth of the fire
Draco is watching over me.