Talented Toads

The Alliance for Young Artists & Writers recognizes Thacher’s own.
Every year the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers presents the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards to talented young students. This year, out of a submission pool of more than 330,000 works from around the country, some of Thacher’s own were recognized with regional awards for their talents and personal vision.

Mary Yan ’17 was awarded a Silver Key, which is given for “stand-out works submitted to local programs that demonstrate exceptional ability,” for her poem “Family Ties.” She also garnered Honorable Mention, which is given for “accomplished works submitted to local programs showing great skill and potential,” for her poem “lips&teeth, August, distance.”

“I've definitely done a lot more creative writing since coming to Thacher, despite how busy my schedule is,” said Mary of her writing. “It certainly helps that there are so many people here willing to look over my writing and give me good feedback. Ms. Mully, Ms. Walter, and Mr. Robinson, in particular, have all been critical parts of my editing process and I'm beyond grateful to them for helping me shape my voice and find confidence in my work.”

Yao Yin ’19 was awarded a Gold Key, which is given to “the very best works submitted to local programs,” for her print “The Cabin 21” and her painting “Hometown.” These pieces will automatically be considered for national-level recognition. She also received Honorable Mention for her print “Wrangling,” her painting “Introverts,” and her illustration “Paralysis.”

Griffin Somaratne ’18 was awarded a Silver Key for his anthology of poems “stream of consciousness.”

“When I first submitted my anthology, I didn't expect to win,” said Griffin of his submission. “I had only started writing creatively and honing my skills when I came to Thacher. I am so thankful for the English teachers I have had, for they have enabled me to express myself in ways far beyond the spoken word. Getting bits of time to scribble down pieces of poetry and story ideas throughout my day fuels my passion and gives me the motivation to move forward.”

Congratulations to Mary, Yao, and Griffin!

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lips & teeth
by Mary Yan

look at the sky when you pass by my window,
keep your lips tucked in between red scarves and
white breaths.

what’s your name? you say to me.
gurglegurglegurglegurgle, i say back.

i once kissed a goldfish underwater.
when i was five years old, the dentist plucked out
all my teeth.

i think you’re beautiful, you say to me.
gurglegurglegurglegurgle, i say back.

Christmas day,
your lips are chapped and mine are
nonexistent.

i love you, you say to me.
gurglegurglegurglegurgle, i say back.

if i were still five years old, i would
steal someone else’s lips. someone else’s teeth.
but i am eighteen. and mouths don’t work like that
anymore.

…., you say to me.
…., i say back.


spare parts
by Griffin Somaratne

you puncture my cheeks, gouge my eyes, and tear my ears
i will scream, pound my fists against my chest, sink down

you shove me into the dirt, let it swallow at me, your knee
digging into my spine, i will cry and wallow in despair

you flog my back, shred my shoulders, and carve out my wings,
i fall to my knees and plead on for the pain to devour

you yank me apart, snip my seams, and leave my scraps to
corrode, weeping under starry skies in summer darkness

then you would come back, build me whole, carve new
joints for my limbs, sew new lips for my grin

you paint my irises shades of blue, lift me onto my new legs,
guide my arms with your warm hands against mine

we’d settle in the moon’s caress, and when my newblue eyes
meet your warmbrown, the years would come flooding back,
washing the starry skies and my old scraps away.


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