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 Judges Choice Poems

Forty poems by 20 writers were selected by our judges as the best single poems submitted. Eighteen writers and 38 poems are represented here. The selection criteria used by the judges are below the photos.


Alexa Dersovitz

Alexandra Franchino

Anika Prakash

Eileen Huang

Evelyn Ho

Ezra Lebovitz

Jasmine Sharma

Katharine Boyajian

Mel Xiao

Melissa Cui

Miranda Crowley

Nicole Yeager

Sarah Ryu

Su Min Kim

Young Se Choi

Selection Criteria

Unique Voice. A sense of poetry that is not interested in being derivative, someone who is honoring their particular take on the world.

Originality of Thought. Is the idea expressed in the poem new or unusual? Is it saying something familiar in a new and different way?

Authenticity. Are the sentiments expressed strongly and deeply held by the writer?

Sophisticated understanding of what a poem can be and do.  Does the writer have a sophisticated sense of the unique way poetry can evoke meaning?

Craft. Does the poem exhibit an understanding of the craft associated with the form it is using?

Intention. Does the poem seem to have a clear point in mind?

Successful Execution. If the point is clear, does it successfully get to where it intends to go?