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Fall 2013

Winners of the Claudia Ann Seaman Awards for Young Writers 2013

Polyphony H.S. and the Community Foundation of Hudson Valley are pleased to announce the winners of the Claudia Ann Seaman Awards for Young Writers. Each year, three prize winners are chosen in Poetry, Short-Fiction, and Creative Non-Fiction. The winners are selected by published authors from our annual printed volume. In addition, two ranked honorable mentions are selected in each genre. The pieces represent some of the finest published works by teen writers in the world.


Poetry Judge, Elise Paschen

Elise Paschen, a poet of Osage descent, is the author of Bestiary (Red Hen Press, 2009); Infidelities (Story Line Press), winner of the Nicholas Roerich Poetry Prize, and Houses: Coasts (Oxford: Sycamore Press). Her poems have been published in The New Republic, Ploughshares and Shenandoah, among other magazines, and in numerous anthologies, including Reinventing the Enemy’s Language: Contemporary Native Women’s Writings of North America; A Formal Feeling Comes: Poems in Form by Contemporary Women; Poetry 180: A Turning Back to Poetry and The POETRY Anthology, 1912—2002. She is editor of The New York Times best-selling anthology Poetry Speaks to Children and Poetry Speaks Who I Am (Sourcebooks) as well as co-editor of Poetry Speaks, Poetry Speaks Expanded (Sourcebooks), Poetry in Motion, and Poetry in Motion from Coast to Coast (Norton).

The daughter of prima ballerina Maria Tallchief and Henry Paschen, Elise Paschen was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois, where she attended the Francis W. Parker School. While an undergraduate at Harvard, Paschen was awarded the Lloyd McKim Garrison Medal and the Joan Grey Untermyer Poetry Prize. At Oxford University, where she received her M.Phil. and D.Phil. degrees in 20th Century British and American Literature, she co-founded Oxford Poetry.

Executive Director of the Poetry Society of America from 1988 until 2001, she is the co-founder of Poetry in Motion, a nation-wide program which places poetry posters in subways and buses. Paschen was the featured Illinois poet at the National Book Festival sponsored by the Library of Congress in September 2006. She currently serves as Poet Laureate of Three Oaks, Michigan. A former Frances Allen Fellow of the Newberry Library, Dr. Paschen teaches in the MFA Writing Program at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She lives in Chicago with her husband and their two children.

Poetry Winner: Luisa Banchoff
Washington & Lee High School, Arlington, Virgina

1st Honorable Mention: Rachel Nutt
Rockville High School, Vernon, Connecticut
Breaking Color

2nd Honorable Mention: Rachel Stone
The Latin School of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois
An Elegy in Two Parts, Rachel Stone


Fiction Judge, Gail Tsukiyama 

Gail Tsukiyama was born in San Francisco, California to a Chinese mother from Hong Kong and a Japanese father from Hawaii.  She is the bestselling author of seven novels, including A Hundred Flowers, The Street of a Thousand Blossoms, Women of the Silk and The Samurai’s Garden. She is a recipient of the Academy of American Poets Award and the PEN Oakland/Josephine Miles Literary Award.  She has been a judge for the Kiriyama Book Prize and the Book Reviewer for the on-line magazine The WaterBridge Review. She was one of fifty authors chosen by the Library of Congress to participate in the first National Book Festival in Washington D.C. and has been guest speaker at the Hong Kong International Literary Festival and the Sydney Writers’ Festival.  A resident of the San Francisco Bay Area, she has taught creative writing at San Francisco State University, as well as a freelance book reviewer for the San Francisco Chronicle.

Fiction Winner: Rachel Stone
The Latin School of Chicago, Chicago Illinois
How to Fall

1st Honorable Mention: Peter LaBerge
Green Farms Academy, Westport, Connecticut
Radio Signals

2nd Honorable Mention, Emily Xiao
University of Chicago Lab School, Chicago, Illinois


Creative Non-Fiction

Creative Non-Fiction Judge, Tony D’Souza

Tony has contributed to The New Yorker, Playboy, Salon, Mother Jones, Esquire, Outside, Granta, the O.Henry Awards, Best American Fantasy, McSweeney’s, Tin House and elsewhere, and has appeared on numerous television and radio programs. He received an NEA, an NEA Japan Friendship Fellowship, a Guggenheim, holds Florida Gold and Silver Medals in Fiction, was nominated by Outside for a National Magazine Award in Reporting, and earned prizes from the California Newspaper Publishers Association including a First Place in Environmental Reporting, and a Blue Ribbon for Best Writing.

Tony’s first novel, Whiteman, received the Sue Kaufman Prize from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. His second novel, The Konkans, was called a ‘best novel of the year’ by the Washington Post, Christian Science Monitor, and Poets & Writers Magazine. His third novel, Mule, released in September, 2011, to advance praise from Vanity Fair, Gawker, Kirkus, Booklist, and Library Journal.

Creative Non-Fiction Winner: Eda Tse
Coney Island’s Not a Slum, But Is No Manhattan

1st Honorable Mention: Eunice Cho
Philips Exeter Academy, Exeter New Hampshire
Love That Dirty Water

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