Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Writing Contest Winners!

Three students won prizes in the Algonquin Reads Student Writing Contest. Each student submitted a piece of writing relating to this year's Algonquin Reads book, Bone and Bread by Saleema Nawaz.

Kiara Birtch - best poem
Cydney Banton - best short story
Brooklyn Wagner - best essay

Each student won a $75 cash prize, and will hopefully be featured in an upcoming issue of Algonquin Times.

Poem: The Hand That Feeds, By Kiara Birtch
Eyes are watching, judging
Broken and starved,
Stomach clenching
Empty plates shine as the lustre from her eyes fade,
Another pound wasted, her bones begin to ache.
Here my body lays,
A broken cage to call a frame
God forgive me, and let the kirtans play.
Let my sister find solace,
Let the grief turn into comfort.
Let her unborn child grow healthy,
Let not my actions divert-
The courses of their lives.
As I am not worth the time
Nor the energy.
Let my body reincarnate,
Under the blossoms of the banyan trees
Let the hunger within me,
Be the hand that feeds.

Short Story Excerpt: Cydney Banton

I could hear Beena’s familiar footsteps, loudly vibrating the entire metal staircase with each step. Soon she would reach the door of the apartment, her key rattling in the lock. I knew that despite the constant jamming during the colder months, I wouldn’t have much time. I stepped onto the cold hardwood and crouched down beneath my bed, where I kept my secrets hidden in a neat row of shoeboxes. I knelt down and felt a twinge of pain as my skin was pinched between the floor and my bone. Good, I thought, at least it’s working.
Essay Exerpt: Social Criticism in Bone and Bread, by  Brooklyn Wagner

Bone and Bread is a compelling novel that brings to light many forms of social criticism through a captivating storyline. The author, Saleema Nawaz, walks the reader through the tragic events of Beena Singh’s life while introducing and showing the consequences of the social criticisms that exist in today’s society. After overcoming the obstacle of losing booth parents at a young age, Beena is faced with teenage pregnancy, an anorexic sister, a sexiest Uncle and negligence of her sister’s sexuality. The author keeps the reader optimistic about Beena’s situations, while combatting the issues of different criticisms many people are faced with. Bone and bread is a very righteous and powerful read as it brings to discussion the social criticisms of teenage pregnancy, eating disorders, gender equality and sexual orientation.