Raise Your Glass: Adroit Meets the 2017 Foyle Young Poets of the Year Awards!

Congratulations to the nine Adroit high school students recognized in the 2017 Foyle Young Poets of the Year Awards!

 © The Poetry Society of the United Kingdom.
© The Poetry Society of the United Kingdom.

Each year, students from around the world are encouraged to share their best work, and an acclaimed pair of judges select fifteen Overall Winners and eighty-five Commended Winners. More than 11,000 entries from over 6,000 poets poured in this year, and judges Sinéad Morrissey and Kayo Chingonyi made the selections.

Congratulations to Margot Armbruster and Enshia Li, whose poems “Wormwood” and “unwritten letter from my great-grandmother to my great-grandfather, 1930” were selected as two of fifteen Overall Winners. Margot, a high school senior from Wisconsin, studied poetry with Trista Edwards as part of the 2016 Adroit Journal Summer Mentorship Program, a free and entirely online summer program for high school students. Enshia, a high school senior from Canada, studied fiction with Managing Editor Garrett Biggs as part of the 2017 program.

Congratulations also goes out to the following Commended Winners, whose poetry stood out in the selection process.

Daniel Blokh
Alabama, USA
2016 Summer Mentee (Creative Nonfiction — Caroline Crew)

Aidan Forster
South Carolina, USA
Previous Blog Editor
2015 Summer Mentee (Poetry — Cody Ernst)

Yuri Han
New Jersey, USA
2017 Summer Mentee (Poetry — Doug Ramspeck)

Kara Jackson
Illinois, USA
2017 Summer Mentee (Poetry — Alyse Bensel)

Isabella Jiang
New Jersey, USA
2017 Summer Mentee (Poetry — Kimberly Grabowski Strayer)

Katherine Kim
New Jersey, USA
2017 Summer Mentee (Poetry — Marci Calabretta Cancio-Bello)

Joyce Zhou
Illinois, USA
2017 Summer Mentee (Poetry — Shelley Wong)


by Margot Armbruster
2017 Foyle Young Poet

mama, remember your cool hand
on mine. remember, I was twelve
and consumed with thinness.

remember you lay beside me
on the starchy sheets and talked
about healing. about your own

mother, how you became
a kite, straining away from her.
about the summer your hair

knotted up like moss
in the shower drain. mama,
remember I asked you why

you decided to live. and remember,
you pressed your fingers
gentle against my forehead,

remember, you spoke
in a low voice about the chapel
ringing with sound,

the amber light streaming
through the windows.
you told me you cried. I cried

with your arms wrapped
around my back. I cried
because the body can never

forget. mama, I cried because
I can never forget that winter,
the winter the body I tried

to carve out of marble became glass,
the winter I held death in
my mouth and proclaimed myself


© Margot Armbruster & The Poetry Society of the United Kingdom.

unwritten letter from my great-grandmother to my great-grandfather, 1930

by Enshia Li
2017 Foyle Young Poet

In 1927, the Chinese Civil War broke out between the Nationalists and Communists. Peasants joined the fight, not knowing nor caring which side they fought on. They often joined the army for the meals. Many perished, trying to escape starvation.

the last hen died / fourteen days ago / while you puffed your chest / for faceless
men. / look. she died / beak open, tongue latched / on a broken triangle / of
night / like a babe suckling. / in the silence / her white feathers / curled, cabbage
/ limp. we were out / of cabbage / months ago, / your son’s belly / a rotten head /
to match. / look. I want you / to go back & hold / your life / in an open mouth /
like a beggar / & capture / white hills / of rice / & capture / a revolution /
revolution / revolution / break up / that word / break up / its brush / strokes /
scatter it / scatter / the pieces / across these / wrinkled fields / for us / for us / to
fill / our shrunken / stomachs

© Enshia Li & The Poetry Society of the United Kingdom.

Click here to visit the Foyle Young Poets website for the full release.

Peter LaBerge

Peter LaBerge founded The Adroit Journal in 2010, as a high school sophomore. His work appears in Crazyhorse, Harvard Review, Indiana Review, Iowa Review, Kenyon Review Online, Pleiades, and Tin House, among others. He is the recipient of a 2020 Pushcart Prize.

No Comments Yet

Leave a Reply