Announcing the 2024 Winners

More than 1,500 high school students submitted to our annual Patricia Grodd Poetry Prize for Young Writers, and we’re thrilled to announce the results. The winner is Cloris Shi, an eleventh grader at Troy High School, in Fullerton, CA. Of her winning poem “son as white plant,” judge Richie Hofmann writes,

This poem’s exuberant language and formal play are remarkable (the end-word “plant” becoming  “planting” and then “supplant”). With its tight structures and minimalist palette, it makes an unforgettable self-portrait as well as a portrait of a relationship with a rich and complex history. I won’t forget the poem’s quick and energetic turns from the grotesque (“the sun baring its bloated belly”) to the beautiful. This is a poet with vigor and verve.

Shi’s poem will appear in an upcoming print issue of The Kenyon Review, and she will receive a full scholarship to the Kenyon Review Young Writers workshops. 

Richie Hofmann also selected two runners-up: “Dissection of my Grandmother’s Eye” by Acadia Reynolds, an eleventh grader at Charleston School of the Arts, in North Charleston, SC, and “Origin Myth as Hand-Me-Down” by Tiffany Aurelia, an eleventh grader at Jakarta Intercultural School in Jakarta Selatan, Indonesia.

Of Reynolds’s poem, Hofmann writes,

I admire this poem’s risks and triumphs, its fearless voice. It’s unafraid, almost defiant, of its subject, unafraid of mixing vocabularies (“vitreous fluid,” “tank top” “withered apples”), unafraid of beauty. Through the small and focused figure of the grandmother’s eye—grotesquely physical and memorably present—this poet creates a work that reverberates beyond any individual relationship to speak to a whole social world.

Of Aurelia’s poem, Hofmann writes,

Taking its inspiration from inherited histories, this poem unfolds with grace and clarity even as it grapples with ungraspable subjects. And all of this in sentences of assuredness and maturity that demonstrate an engagement with the mind and the senses (“a history charted in crushed lemongrass”). Through its careful attention to time, luminous detail, and the “body assimilating to history,” this poem achieves something rare and gorgeous: a deep exploration of self and a meaningful communion with the ancestors that make us who we are. 

The Kenyon Review will also publish the runners-up, and each will receive a partial scholarship to our Young Writers workshops.

About the Prize

The Patricia Grodd Poetry Prize for Young Writers, created in 2007 to recognize outstanding young poets, is an annual contest for poets who are sophomores and juniors in high school. The contest is named in honor of Patricia Grodd in recognition of her generous support of The Kenyon Review and its programs, as well as her passionate commitment to education and deep love for poetry.

The poems by the winner and runners-up will be published in The Kenyon Review, and the winner receives a full scholarship to a Kenyon Review Young Writers workshop. Submissions for the contest are open every year November 1 through November 30. 

If you are not a high school sophomore or junior, you do not qualify for this contest. Please submit to the Kenyon Review Poetry Contest.

  • Submit your poem on our Submittable page.
  • Fill out the fields, attach your file, and click the “submit here” button. 
  • Please submit only one poem to the contest. Only unpublished work will be considered for the prize. Please do not simultaneously submit your contest entry to another magazine or contest. 
  • You must be a high school sophomore or junior to enter.
  • Make sure your file is one of the following formats: PDF, Word document (.doc or .docx), Rich Text Format (.rtf), Microsoft Wordpad and Notepad, Apple TextEdit (.txt).
  • We charge no entry fee. It is free to enter. 
  • Submit between November 1 and November 30, 2023. The submissions portal closes at 11:59 pm Eastern Time on November 30.
  • Any winning submitter who has previously attended the Young Writers Summer Residential Workshops will have their scholarship applied to their choice of either Young Writers Summer Online or Winter Online Workshops.
Photo of Richie Hofmann

The final judge of this year’s contest is acclaimed poet Richie Hofmann. He is the author of two books of poems, A Hundred Lovers (Alfred A. Knopf, 2022) and Second Empire (Alice James Books, 2015). His poetry appears recently in The Paris Review, The New Yorker, Poetry, and The Yale Review, and has been honored with the Ruth Lilly and Wallace Stegner fellowships.

Winners will be announced in early February 2024 via email, on The Kenyon Review website, and in the February Kenyon Review newsletter. 

Thanks for your interest in The Kenyon Review.

2023 Winners

Young Poets Introduction, Ruth Awad

Winner: Naomi Ling, “Haibun for Cantonese, ‘The Bird Language'”

Runner-up: Aamina Mughal, “Paradigm Shift”

Runner-up: Evan Sandifer, “Because I Am Young, Stubborn, and Covered in Skin”

2022 Winners

Young Poets Introduction, Molly McCully Brown

Winner: Sophie Bernik, “Come Closer

Runner-up: Maddison Xu, “For My Father, Who Lives Alone

Runner-up: Myra Kamal, “Diptych on Getting from Point A to Point B

2021 Winners

Introduction

Winner: Daniel Zhang, “Golden

Runner-up: Blair Enright, “Dr. Freud’s Magic 8-Ball

Runner-up: Gaia Rajan, “Ghost Town, Ohio

2020 Winners

Introduction

Winner: Manasi Garg, “Cutglass

Runner-up: Eric Gottlieb, “(B)lack

Runner-up: Annie Cao, “Meat

2019 Winners

Introduction

Winner: Jay Martin, “November Picnic with Louise

Runner-up: Martha Shaffer, “Stars

Runner-up: Stephanie Chang, “Post Meridiem

2018 Winners

Young Poets Introduction, by Natalie Shapero

Winner: Audrey Kim, “What I Left Behind

Runner-up: Emily Perez, “Extraterrestre

Runner-up: Jenny Li, “Chapter Seven Quiz

2017 Winners

Young Poets Introduction, by Natalie Shapero

Winner: Eileen Huang, “Movie Scene on a Highway Shoulder

Runner-up: Daniel Blokh, “Family Portrait with Lost Map

Runner-up: Isabella Victoria, “Clemente Curls

2016 Winners

Young Poets Introduction, by Natalie Shapero

Winner: Alyssa Mazzoli, “Death Uses a Lot of Laundry Detergent

Runner-up: Carissa Chen, “Parable

Runner-up: Annalise Lozier, “ƒ(x)

2015 Winners

Young Poets Introduction, by Natalie Shapero

First-Prize Winner: Caitlin Chan, “Tlingit Farewell: Glacier Bay, 1966

Runner-up: Gavin Murtha, “I Spent a Lot of Time in There

Runner-up: Emily Zhang, “Story for the Salt

2014 Winners

Young Poets Introduction, by Elizabeth Lindsey Rogers

First Place: Michaela Jenkins, “indigo sister

Runner-up: Dalia Ahmed, “Open in the Spring

2013 Winners

Young Poets Introduction, by Natalie Shapero

First Place: Ian Burnette, “Full Blood

Runner-up: Alicia Lai, “Saung

2012 Winners

Young Poets Introduction, by David Baker

First Place: Victoria White, “Elephant Grave

First Place: Truman Zhang, “Dear Poet

Runner-up: Nandita Karambelkar, “Rangoli

2011 Winners

Young Poets Introduction, by David Baker

First Place: Natalie Landers, “Ode to Words

Runner-up: Hayun Cho, “Halmoni

Runner-up: Emily Nason, “Ripening

2010 Winners

Young Poets Introduction, by KR Editors

First Place: Anna Faison, “Han

Runner-up: Emma Broder, “Nkoaranga

Runner-up: Megan Gallagher, “Clutch

2009 Winners

Young Poets Introduction, by David Baker

First Place: Felicity Sheehy, “Letter

Second Place: Haley Markbreiter, “The Solitude of Hungarians

Third Place: Arbil López, “Ciudad

2008 Winners

Young Writers Introduction, by David Baker

First Place: Molly Brown, “Terra Incognita

Second Place: Weihui Lu, “(Why) Can’t I Hear You Anymore?

Third Place: Samantha Berstler, “Self-Portrait

2007 Winners

Introduction, by David Baker

First Place: Rebekah Latour, “Twisted Like Dogwood

Second Place: Frankie Romano, “The Night You Questioned the Purpose of Flowers

Third Place: Hannah Irvin, “For My Father

2006 Winners

Now formally known as the Patricia Grodd Poetry Prize for Young Writers

On the First “Kenyon Review” Poetry Prize for Young Writers, by David Baker

First Place: Justine Li, “El Norte

Second Place: Laura Winnick, “A Quantum Leap

Third Place: Dan Li, “A Heap of Fruits

2005 Winners

2nd Annual Kenyon Review Poetry Prize for Young Writers

Introduction: On the Second Kenyon Review Poetry Prize for Young Writers, by David Baker

First Place: Emma Hansen, “Good Morning America

Second Place: Sarah Winsberg, “Evolution

Third Place: Amrita Khalid, “Apology for the Death of Your Father

2004 Winners

1st Annual Kenyon Review Poetry Prize for Young Writers

On the First “Kenyon Review” Poetry Prize for Young Writers, by David H. Lynn

First Place: Robin Myers, “A Birth

Second Place: Madeline Weinstein, “Art Appreciation

Third Place: Laura Bennett, “Spilled Rice