Poetry on the T Contest Winners


We are proud to announce the results of our Fall 2015 Poetry on the T Contest, and to showcase these three wonderful poems on the T for four weeks in December.

"26 Muscles" by Lauren Walsh from the student category
"Station" by Nicholas Ornstein from the student category
"False Summons" by William Conelly from the general category

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About the poem: My creative writing teacher Lisa Forte-Doyle told us about the opportunity to enter the contest and I figured why not, what's the worst that could happen? When writing the poem I couldn't think of anything except for what actually makes you smile. Being the super sciencey person I am I took it down to the physical components of your body that make it possible for you to smile and I wrote. 

About the author: Lauren Walsh is a sophomore at Monomoy Regional High School in Harwich, Massachusetts. This contest was the first poetry contest she entered and did so due to her creative writing teacher Lisa Forte-Doyle. She has been writing stories for many years, however, she just began writing poetry this year. 


About the poem: "Station" is based mainly on my experiences as a student who travels to and from school on the commuter rail every day. I have been both the hurried 'business man', sprinting to catch the train, but missing it nevertheless, and also the curious child, enthralled by the soulful song of a street musician. 'Station' makes an effort to convey the juxtaposition of the common initial destination of the people waiting for the train, yet the unique final objective of each individual's journey through their own Station.

About the author: Nick Ornstein is a junior at Concord Academy, who lives in Watertown with his brother and parents. Nick has loved to read and write poetry from a young age; his favorite poets being Emily Dickinson and Walt Whitman. In his (very little) free time, Nick enjoys studying jazz piano, playing squash and baseball, and watching The Office

About the poem: "False Summons" was composed numerous decades ago, when my first wife and I slept in first floor living room of an apartment right on the Brookline-Brighton line.  Those were the days of 'Mister Bill' on Saturday Night Live, 'Mister Bill' being a clay puppet bound to suffer various physical indignities each weekend -- including thorough mashing or amputation -- in jerky claymation -- whist a a falsetto voice-over exclaimed "no, no, not that!"  Very likely there was more than a single feline hiply named 'Mister Bill', or just 'Bill', meandering the student zones along the Brighton-Boston-Brookline borders.  I woke one night amidst a search for one of those creatures and, voila, given my marital situation, had a found poem.  I first drafted it next morning, very much as you see today, and it was published in a little journal long since defunct.

About the poetWilliam Conelly followed his father into the military. He later reconsidered, resigned, and took a Master’s Degree under the distinguished American poet Edgar Bowers. After stints in transport and financial services, sales and commercial writing, Conelly returned to the academy in 2000 where, by turns, he has served as an associate professor, a tutor and an instructor of creative writing. His poetry has been published in Iota, The Lyric, Measure, Pebble Lake Review, Pleiades, Poetry Durham, Poetry Porch and elsewhere. He is a dual citizen of the US and the UK, and is married with three grown sons.

May 2015 Poems on the T

We are excited to announce the winners of our Poetry on the T Contest! Typically three poems appear on the T at a time, and while we planned for two general winners and one student winner, there were two poems by students with so many votes we just couldn't turn one away! We are proud to announce the results, and to showcase these four wonderful poems on the T for four weeks starting May 4.

About the Poem: "I write poems and short stories. In one of my short stories, Serena, a nine-year-old girl whose dad is a chef, watches her parents go through a divorce. I turned a scene from the story into a poem because I thought it was a tender moment amidst the violence of the kitchen. I liked how her relationship with her father changes from one moment to the next."

About the Poet: Kate Wisel lives in Boston. Her fiction appears in The Drum, Mad Hatters' Review, SmokeLong Quarterly, Fiction Southeast, Compose Journal, and her poetry in The Altar, The Blotter, Philadelphia Stories, and Neon Magazine, where she was nominated for The Forward Prize. She has attended writing workshops in New Hampshire and Guatemala and was awarded a scholarship to the Wesleyan Writers Conference. She will be a first-year MFA candidate in the fall.

About the Poem: In the spring of 2012, Founder of the Million Hoodie March Daniel Maree asked if I would write a poem for Trayvon Martin’s family. I remembered something Trayvon’s mother said: he could have been anyone’s son. I kept thinking about how memory can bring anyone back at any time. I decided to try to write an impossible poem; one that could express its own will to unwrite itself so as to momentarily, in the mind, undo this tragedy for which there are no words. Words, not violence. Community without divisions. A boy simply walking home.

About the Poet: Tara Skurtu, originally from Florida, teaches incarcerated college students through Boston University's Prison Education Program. She is the recipient of a 2015-16 Fulbright, a Robert Pinsky Global Fellowship, and two Academy of American Poets prizes. Tara’s poems have been translated into Romanian and Hungarian, and her recent work appears or is forthcoming in The Kenyon Review, Poetry Review, Poetry Wales, Plume, Memorious, DMQ Review, The Common, and Tahoma Literary Review.


About the Poem: "I originally conceived this poem to be a glimpse into the immigrant experience, but it soon developed into an exploration of the barrier between the newly-immigrated and the descendants of immigrants. The use of languages in the poem is meant to create a sense of alienation and disconnectedness, and yet it evokes the same experience of being an outsider that unites all readers of the poem."

About the Poet: Amanda Grace Shu is a graduating senior at Melrose High who has been writing stories since the age of four--or so her mother claims. She focuses mainly on writing fantasy, science fiction, and, of course, poetry, but will occasionally poke her head out of the clouds and participate in what is known as "real life." She is fascinated by anything linguistic. Read more of her work here

About the Poem: "In 'Sunday,' I tried to explore the essence of spirituality in southern slave communities. I wanted to capture the strength and power of faith in individuals who struggle against severe oppression and abuse, and examine how spiritual understanding can help us identify with others."

About the Poet: Ruth Ballard is a high school student from Littleton, Massachusetts who has been writing and performing spoken word for three years through GrubStreet's Young Adult Writer's Program. Ruth was a runner-up for the Helen Creeley Poetry Prize, a finalist in the 2013 Louder Than a Bomb Massachusetts poetry slam, a co-coach of GrubStreet's 2014 slam poetry team, and she has been published in Solstice Literary Magazine.