Sharmaine "May" Sun '15 received a 2015 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards silver medal for her poem "Fixed," which is printed below. She is one of only 19 national poetry medalists from California and one of 269 national poetry medalists from the U.S., Canada, China, Croatia, Egypt, Hong Kong, Korea, Qatar, Russia, Singapore, Taiwan, the United Arab Emirates, and the United Kingdom.
Each year, the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers partners with more than 100 visual and literary-arts organizations across the country to bring the Scholastic Awards to local communities. Students in grades 7 through 12 apply in 28 categories of art and writing. Submissions are juried by luminaries in the visual and literary arts, some of whom are past award recipients. Panelists look for works that best exemplify originality, technical skill, and the emergence of a personal voice or vision.
Last year, students submitted 255,000 works of art and writing. More than 68,000 were recognized at the regional level, and the top 2,000 works in the U.S. earned national medals and were celebrated at a ceremony at Carnegie Hall.
The Scholastic Awards program provides more than $250,000 in scholarships annually to top awards recipients and their educators. In addition, more than $8 million in scholarships is set aside each year by partnering organizations for recipients of the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. Seniors earning national medals are eligible to receive scholarships through partnerships with esteemed colleges and universities.
By Sharmaine Sun '15
I have a habit of fixing things—
The heart-shaped wrinkle in the corner of your bed,
The misplaced curl in the mess of your head,
The plump pillow I placed in your stead.
Your breath made a cloud on the mirror—
I wiped it off.
Your lips kept humming—
Though I told you to stop.
Your letters had mistakes I just couldn’t ignore—
I edited, you never forgot.
I cringed when you spoke,
Your voice, tinged with smoke,
Had morphed into little more than a croak.
I turned away when you woke.
You didn’t show when you broke.
Your rough touch made me pause,
All I could feel were your flaws,
You asked was I happy?
I wondered who was.
Then I thought I had fixed the mistake that was you,
But I shake off the ache
And now, awake, I see my biggest mistake—
I tried to fix you.