Christine Marella '15 Wins Prestigious Poetry Award
Christine Marella '15 Wins Prestigious Poetry Award

Christine Marella '15 was recently awarded Emory University's Artistine Mann Poetry Award for best undergraduate poetry. A prestigious honor as a freshman, Christine is also a Foyle Commended Poet and a Scholastic Art & Writing Awards national gold medalist. While at Santa Catalina she was the editor of Mosaic, the student publication for literary work and the fine arts.

Christine's award-winning poem, "Dream Study":


From a window-seat

on the nighttime train the houses

open orange mouths and eyes,

tattered lanterns spilled

over the hillside.

The places this train slices through,

the spine of mountain pass

and valley, are unnamed here.

Most things I will leave unnamed.

For instance, the year

my brother's brother carved the life

from his own body with the broken

edge of a garden hoe, the year

the riverbed puckered up

like cracked skin, and finally split.


I dream miles of cornfield, heat

and dust and a wind warm and pressing,

that bows the heads of the corn.

I spit black oil, grease the frying pan,

comb my blackened hands through my

blackened hair. That is all.

Then I am always outside, and

the pan with nothing in it catches

fire, next the curtain, next the kitchen

but I cannot turn, cannot watch the house

burn, I can see the light, see

my shadow arc forward, flickering.

I never know if I burn, if there's another me

inside that house, if in my dream

I meant to start the fire.


I cannot touch even the smallest

parts of myself without burning.

Under this skin I'm screaming

into the wind which carries

over the plains, up into the night.

There's a syrup on the floor–

my feet stick in it, pulling sweet

threads up each time I step.

Makes it hard to get outside, outside

the sky is bright and black

like the inside of a beetle shell,

slick and brittle.

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