2010 Sejong Writing Competition
|First Place||Sean Alaniz
12th grade, Eaton Academy
|Second Place||Jordan Levenstein
12th grade, Jericho High School
|Third Place||Kaycee Gallup
12th grade, Marist School
|Mary Liza Hartong
10th grade, Harpeth Hall School
Friend of the Pacific Rim Award
Baton Rouge, LA
6th grade, Woodlawn Middle School
12th grade, Northern Valley Regional High School
12th grade, Greenville High School
10th grade, Holmdel High School
11th grade, Salem Academy
8th grade, Springman Middle School
8th grade, Ann Simpson Davis Middle School
9th grade, Greenville High School
11th grade, Forest Park High School
My name is Sean Alaniz. I will be a Freshman at the University of Alabama in the fall. Before entering this competition, my studies have always been more focused on math and science. I entered this competition to expand my knowledge of both other cultures and other school subjects. I greatly enjoyed challenging myself and working hard enough to become able to meet that challenge.
My goals for the future are to become a chemical engineer and join the Navy. I will however, pursue my newly found love of poetry and of surrounding cultures. I am happy that I can add writing sijo poetry to my list of hobbies. It will now be amongst, tinkering with cars, shooting at the range, and math and science. I do not mean to embarrass her, but my personal hero is my girlfriend. If it were not for her, I would not have to courage or the inspiration to be a part of this competition.back to top
My name is Jordan Levenstein. I just finished my senior year at Jericho High School in Jericho, New York. I will be attending Binghamton University in the fall.
My creative writing teacher taught my class what a sijo poem is and told us to try and write one on our own. While I was walking through the hallways, I overheard a group of girls telling a classmate that they loved her outfit. The second the classmate passed, I heard these girls saying that they really hated what she was wearing. The next day in class, I wrote a sijo poem imitating this conversation. I got very emotional as I was writing this poem because the truth of the matter is that people are so judgmental, and it is so hard growing up when people criticize you. I hope that readers can learn a lot from reading my poem.
I have many goals for my future, but most importantly, I would like to be a special education teacher. I get along great with children. I have worked with kids with and without disabilities. I want a job that will be rewarding, and a job that will motivate me to work harder.
I have always enjoyed spending time with my family and friends, exploring and taking photographs, cooking with my dad, and going for walks along the beach.
My personal heroes are my mom and dad. They raised me to be the person I am today, and I am very thankful for that.back to top
My name is Kaycee Gallup and I just graduated from Marist School in Atlanta, GA. I wrote my sijo because it was a class project. I worked hard on it because I wanted to get a good grade, but I was not sure what to expect as I entered it into the competition. Through studying and writing my own sijo, I was able to learn about different kinds of poetry. Until this class project I did not even know what a sijo was. When I began reading examples I realized how different each poem is. Everyone expresses themselves in different ways. Poetry is very fascinating in that way.
After attending Clemson University, my goal is to become a special education teacher. My personal heroes are my parents because they have led me down this path. They have always helped others and been extremely generous. When I was much younger they inspired me to begin doing charity work and it has truly become my passion in life.
My hobbies and personal interests include charity work, softball, and reading.back to top
Mary Liza Hartong, a young lady from the lush green hills of Tennessee, began composing poetry at an early age and continues to do so prolifically. Be it free verse or villanelle, she loves to write! Naturally when she heard of the unusual form of the sijo, she was interested in trying her hand at it and eventually submitting to the contest. Through the submission process, she learned that having confidence in one’s own work is extremely important, as it is not enough just to write, but to let readers come into the writer’s own world. In the future, she looks forward to to inviting many more people into her world. She also hopes that someday a person reading a published volume of her work might read a line and think, “Someone else does that, too! I thought I was the only one!” In addition to harboring these aspirations, Mary Liza enjoys running, painting, and listening to NPR. She considers country singer Reba McEntire to be one of her personal heroes, as she is a strong, confident woman who always keeps on the sunny side of life. Growing up in Music City, it’s no wonder Mary Liza relates to such a musical madame. Who knows, maybe one day she’ll be writing Reba’s lyrics!back to top
I’ve always enjoyed short, simple poems. Epic poems and lengthy ones with complex meanings don’t appeal to me as much, so when my English teacher introduced our class to this contest, I decided I would try my hand at writing a Korean sijo. At first, I thought if I just listened to some Korean pop songs the ideas would just come to me, but the rhythm of this poetic form proved to be far more intricate. Through the process of writing sijo, I have discovered that simple things yield deeper meanings when one makes an effort to find these meanings.
My interests include singing and running track. Both require no more than one’s own body to do, but becoming successful at either demands a great deal of dedication and perseverance. My personal hero would have to be the one and only Jesus Christ. In all truthfulness, He has given meaning and purpose to the things that I do.
Upon reflection, I have found that my current hopes and dreams are actually quite quixotic. Ideally, I would like to finish school, earn some money, buy a beach house somewhere, and just relax. I know things will probably not work out this way, as my scholarly aspirations are gradually starting to defeat such carefree thoughts. Ah, well. Life goes on but ideas never get old.back to top
For a long time I've been interested in historical and modern Korean culture. When I heard about the competition, I immediately promised myself I'd enter. I knew I would enjoy it, and I was right. Before I entered, I knew very little about the sijo form of poetry--now I know lots. The research was fun, and I've come to think of sijo as one of the most delighting forms of traditional poetry. I was disappointed that, though most people know about Japanese haiku, sijo is relatively unknown in the Western world. Korean culture has not yet received the attention or the admiration that it deserves from our society.
My interests are evenly divided between international affairs and social media. During my lifetime, I want to direct movies, assume a political office and write a minimum of one bestseller. I enjoy memorizing alphabets, riding bicycles, heckling my history teacher, and reorganizing my bedroom. My personal hero is King Hussein bin Talal of Jordan.back to top
Hi, I’m Daniel Ahn. I just graduated from Springman Middle School and will begin high school at Glenbrook South High School in the fall.
I entered a sijo for this competition because poetry is an important part of my life. As I had never heard of this type of poetic form, I was happy to add it to my “collection” of different styles of poetry and send my first sijo into this competition to see what I get. What I learned is that the sijo is an important constituent of Korean culture. I learned more about myself as I searched throughout my imagination to find a topic.
Well, in the future, I would like to go to a good university and medical school, become a famous heart surgeon at the World Health Organization, and travel around the world, helping others by giving surgeries to those who are less fortunate than us.
I enjoy hanging out with friends, playing the violin, playing soccer and volleyball, and writing poems and short stories. My personal heroes are my parents because they have provided me with everything they had in order to raise me to be who I am now. Also, another personal hero is Ahn Chang-Ho because he was the one who went through excruciating pain to save Korea from the Japanese.back to top
My name is Erin Brymer and I am a rising senior at Forest Park High School. I enjoy running track and cross country, swimming, guitar, playing violin in my school orchestra and writing. I began my writing career this year in Creative writing one. In this class we studied the simple yet intense format of oriental writing. Because of oriental poetry’s strict structure, I learned the value of choosing words carefully in order to have to most power in my poem. After the unit, My teacher Mrs. Dowling encouraged my class to enter our poems into this contest and surprisingly, was selected. In the future I plan to continue writing for fun and study physical therapy in college.back to top