Grandmother’s hands, cups of tea, smiling strangers…Four Girls Write Now mentees share poetry about the ways they give and receive kindness.
When you think about kindness, what sights and sounds come to mind? How do you encapsulate such grand feelings of compassion? Girls Write Now mentees and alumni rose to the challenge in the Art of Kindness Poetry Contest, hosted in partnership with Channel Kindness and Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation.
To celebrate our poets, we published three of the poems that received an honorable mention from the Channel Kindness panel of judges, culminating in the announcement of the winning poem by Ariel Zhang! In addition to receiving $500, Ariel had her poem published on the Channel Kindness site. Stay tuned across our social channels and follow @girlswritenow for exclusive interviews with the winners.
Remembrance: An Index From My Grandmother
By Ariel Zhang
With beautiful similes and powerful language, this poem simply took our breath away. Our judges were drawn in by the author’s mastery of the craft, her creativity in writing the stanzas, and vivd imagery. This piece is absolutely stunning and a beautiful ode to her grandmother.
Simple Recipe for Ten Minute Ginger Tea
frame family in doorway, huddled on charcoal couch, ad break muted in favor of bad jokes, laughter gentle–wait for the punchline to pour gush of warmth into mugs, clink spoon to make sonorous honey hum to mellow ginger buzz
Asma Al-Masyabi is a free-verse poet and visual artist based in Colorado, who occasionally delves into flash fiction. She is currently pursuing her Associates in English with a concentration in creative writing. Her two biggest passions are crafting the written word and art and she wants to pursue a life-long career where she can do both. She’s dreaming big dreams, reading good books, while simultaneously baking chocolate chip cookies. When not experimenting in the kitchen, you can find her reading all the comics she can get her hands on and watching the next big hit her mom found on TV.
pretty and warm and good
my walls stare at each other in confusion, in uncertainty of how to treat this unknown stranger named kindness
Sanya Afsar is a Pakistani high school senior in NYC. She grew up in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, until the age of seven and now lives in the culturally rich Woodside neighborhood of Queens, NY. She is a multidisciplinary artist interested in fashion, photography and baking. Her literary taste skews toward dystopian fiction, romance and poetry novels. Sanya uses her time with Girls Write Now to explore different genres, narrowing her focus on college and career plans, to find her voice as a writer. She is particularly passionate about poetry, journaling and memoir.
You do not expect the kindness. It comes in splashes, like an outpour after a long drought.
Grace Yu is a first year student at Northwestern University. In her free time, she enjoys reading, playing music and making origami. She has been published in Taking Our Place in History: The Girls Write Now 2020 Anthology, as well as her high school’s art and literature magazines. In the Emerging Poets category for the 2022 ruth weiss Foundation Awards, Grace was selected as a finalist for her poem “Love Story,” an homage to the stunning diversity of oceanic life.