“Legacy,” a poem I first drafted last summer, has been selected by Naomi Shihab Nye (!!!) as the winner of a contest for poems about peace and conflict transformation. The Wick Poetry Center and the Academy of American Poets co-sponsored the contest, so it is tied in with some very beautiful events commemorating the 50th anniversary of the May 4, 1970 tragedy at Kent State (see my EVENTS page for more info). Additionally, the poem will be published at Poets.com sometime in the near future.

I am especially touched that it is this particular poem being acknowledged in such a way because of the timing of it. “Legacy” is about how my father’s firsthand memories of May 4, 1970 have manifested in my understanding of my own place in the world, and I received the news that Naomi had chosen my poem about a week and a half after my father passed away. Sigh. The universe aligns in such mysterious ways sometimes.

Immeasurable gratitude to Naomi Shihab Nye for choosing my poem; The Wick Poetry Center (esp. David Hassler) and the Academy of American Poets for sponsoring the contest; the Hugh A. Glausner School of Music, the Cleveland Chamber Chorus, and Natsumi Osborn for the forthcoming musical adaptations of the poem; and to those who held space for the creation of and/or offered feedback on drafts of the poem: Ada Limón & my workshop-mates at the Minnesota Northwoods Writers Conference last summer, torin a. greathouse, and Geramee Hensley.

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