Belmont, Massachusetts—March 18, 2013—The Belmont High School English Department is proud to announce that junior Talin Tahajian is a national award winner for writing in the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards. Her collection of five poems, including “Chrysanthemums” and “Of Blood and Butter,” received a Silver Key for Writing, an honor shared with 14 other students grades 7-12 in Massachusetts. She and other national winners will be honored at the 90th anniversary celebration of the Scholastic Awards at Carnegie Hall in New York on May 31st; she joins Sylvia Plath and Joyce Carol Oates, among others, as Scholastic Writing Award alumni. Tahajian’s writing and the work of other winners, including six winners in the visual arts from Chenery Middle School and Belmont High School, will be displayed soon in the online gallery at www.artandwriting.org.
This recognition is just the latest in a string of awards and accomplishments the young poet has accumulated, beginning with an Honorable Mention from Cricket magazine when she was just 11 years old. Tahajian is now a genre editor for Polyphony HS, an international print poetry journal for teens based in Chicago, and photography and creative writing editor for[Slippage], an online poetry journal based in San Diego that works to close the gap between literary, artistic, and scientific pursuits. She was recently accepted by the prestigious New England Young Writer’s Conference at Breadloaf and will attend creative writing workshops there this May.
Earlier this winter, Tahajian won the Helen Creeley Student Prize for Poetry for her poems, “Concerning Death and those flowers at cemeteries,” “Brain & body,” and “A complete history of cafeteria ashes.” Tahajian went through three demanding rounds of auditions and was judged in large part by her readings, rather than solely the text of her poetry. The Helen Creeley Student Prize for Poetry was established by the Robert Creeley Foundation in memory of poet Robert Creeley’s sister, who inspired him to write poetry and was a poet herself before her untimely death. This year the Robert Creeley Prize went to internationally-celebrated poet Naomi Shihab Nye, and Tahajian gave a reading of her own award-winning poetry to open Nye’s reading at the ceremony in Acton earlier this month.