self-portrait as a young woman

Sydney Mayes

We are delighted to present Sydney Mayes's poem "self-portrait as a young woman," winner of the David Hamilton Undergraduate Creative Writing Prize. This prize is sponsored by anonymous donors who wish to honor the mentorship and support they and other students at the University of Iowa received from Emeritus Professor of English David Hamilton. In addition to publication online, Mayes will will be awarded a $500 scholarship. 

                                —after Auguste Rodin’s Young Woman

you know when i was younger i was a pageant winner

in the winter i will move to tennessee with my breasts

and my books stack up all around me how many sonnets

can one have a glass a quiet hour a pink sash and trophy

case by case basis they’ll evaluate applications for financial


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