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Isabelle de Courtivron Writing Prize announces winners for 2019

Five undergrads writing on immigrant, diaspora, bicultural, bilingual, and/or mixed-race experiences.
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Junior Ivy Li won First Prize for her poem "To See a Brief Future."
Junior Ivy Li won First Prize for her poem "To See a Brief Future."

Global Studies and Languages announced this year's winners of the Isabelle de Courtivron writing prize, awarded annually to recognize high-quality undergraduate writing (creative or expository) on topics related to immigrant, diaspora, bicultural, bilingual, and/or mixed-race experiences. The prize was established to honor Distinguished Professor Emerita Isabelle de Courtivron on the occasion of her retirement in 2010.

Five undergraduates received awards: First Prize went to Ivy Li for “To See a Brief Future.” Second Place prizes were awarded to Hanna Kherzai for "Don’t Tell Them” and Chloe Yang for “Dear Asian Tourists of MIT.” Honorable Mentions were awarded to Angela Lin for "Lost in Translation” and Abdalla Osman for "Dear Brother."

The judges noted that every single one of this year’s entries was profoundly moving. The writers shared their and their families’ inner worlds, leading readers through their lived experiences in between worlds, cultures, and languages; experiences that played out in a wide array of spaces, from the intimacy of a living room or a phone conversation, to airports and temples, to MIT’s chaotic Infinite Corridor and career fair. It was most humbling to be let into these worlds, to be entrusted with these stories and with the writers’ vulnerability. The winning pieces span a variety of genres: poetry, drama, and creative non-fiction. Family is central in most of the entries.

The prize winners will be honored at the GSL Spring Fest April 22, along with other honorees. Read the prize-winning entries and learn more about the writers.

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