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2023-24 Sijo Competition Winners

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On behalf of the Korea Foundation, the East Asian Studies Center at The Ohio State University presents the winners of the 2023-24 Sijo Student Competition for K-12 students to honor the traditional Korean form of poetry. Entries from Kentucky and Ohio were received from November 2023 - February 15, 2024. More information is available at http://easc.osu.edu/sijo. Winners from the 2024 competition are listed below and 2023-24 Sijo Winners pdf. Separate lists can be found here: Elementary-Middle School winners and High School winners.

Past winners can be found at: 
2023 Sijo Competition Winners
2022 Sijo Competition Winners 
2021 Sijo Competition Winners.

Elementary/Middle School Division (Kentucky & Ohio)

First Place:

       Briar Shepherd, 8th Grade, Ironton Middle School

A field, flowers, a yellow dress, childlike excitement, six
Momma happy, laughing, taking pictures, my rock, everything
Now I’m 13 in my bed, and I can't get out of my own head


      Piper Anderson, 7th Grade, Heath Middle School

Graceful dancers glide across the water//to assume first position.
Along the neck as the wind hums a tune //and pirouette on through
The leap about to start//and the ballet of the swans began. 

Honorable Mention:

       Clara Rudmann, 8th Grade, Ironton Middle School

The bright pretty colors filled the pages, splashing on the canvas.
The colors filled all of the empty white spaces, creating life.
With power, the painting faded into the darkness of night.

       Carleigh Holston, 8th Grade, Ironton Middle School

The intercom switched on, It spoke about a lock down drill.
Calmly, I walked to the side of the room and talked to my friends. 
The next day, our school was on the news. Fifty kids were found dead. 

       Laylen Autherson, 8th Grade, Ironton Middle School

She was pretty, he told his friend; the room filled with an aura.
The boy felt heavy; as his breath flustered the girl still sat there. 
Then she turns to meet his eyes, together they're both surprised.

       Eli Williams, 8th Grade, West End School

Luka is a top NBA player
He dropped seventy-three
No one else but Luka is doing that
Point blank period
Cleanest whiteboy in the league
Dude dropped sixty-twenty and twenty

       Siera Johnson, 8th Grade, Ironton Middle School

In fields amidst chaos where poppies weep, echoes of strife resound, 
In war's cruel embrace, brave souls collide, humanity's cries abound. 
Hope faintly whispers in the rubble, peace's fragile ground.   


High School Division (Kentucky & Ohio)

First Place:

       Allison Noggle, 11th Grade, Wayne Trace High School

Waves smack the side of a boat throwing a man over the rails,
Thrashing in the freezing water, darkness closely approaching,
With his head barely above water, he remembers to stand.


      Elyse Langton, 12th Grade, Delaware Christian School

Awake in morning darkness, the moon still shines as sounds begin.
The horses voice their hunger, their impatience does not tell time.
Now sleeping late 'til sun light comes, quietness falls in empty fields.

      Jessie Khuu, 12th Grade, Licking Heights High School

Mixing oil and water, its dispersed, not harmonious. 
Parallels, they’ll never mix. They’re meant to be immiscible.
You and me, we’ll dance together. Let’s experience emulsion.

Honorable Mention:

       Abbey Hupp, 10th Grade, Millersport High School

Laughing echos off of the walls, his eyes scrunched up in joy
The lines on his face telling the deepest stories of his life 
and as I tear up over his urn; i yearn for these memories again 

       Stefany Lopez-Castillo, 9th Grade, Wayne Trace High School

Writing soothes this baffling part of me that begs to be heard.
Scattered thoughts flee onto paper and open a distinct world.
A world where I am understood, heard, and not hidden behind words.


Coordinated by the East Asian Studies Center at The Ohio State University and sponsored in part by the Korea Foundation and a U.S. Department of Education Title VI grant to the East Asian Studies Center at The Ohio State University.