Poetry Festival will be held:

Saturday, April 27, 2024

2020 Winner

I Am

I am from pens of every size and shape

Collected throughout journeys

across new landscapes

I am from Olive oil and coconut cream

Smooth, pure, and smelling sweet

Tastes like sandpaper and gelatin on my tongue.

I am from the blue house, hidden beneath the trees

Warm, small, yet it makes room for us all.

I am from dandelions

And pretending their flying seeds are fairies riding the air

I am from sparkling apple cider and traveling the world

Savoring each drink of heaven I take from the sky.

I’m from the honest abes and late bloomers

From the “Non-negotiables” and “Estrecha la mano!”

I am from unity around a tree

Covered in lights, ornaments, and each person’s glee

I’m from George Washington Hospital, DC

In my blood runs immigrant ancestry.

I am from biting into the dessert of the moon

Soft, sticky, and sweet

Filled with red bean paste and the occasional dim-sum I long for

I am from Shepard’s pie

Hot, creamy, savory, my mouth melts

from the heat, as I jig to the fiddle, ghillies on my feet

I am from tapas in Spanish bars, cheese, olives, oysters, caldo gallego

Small dishes with every imaginable color

Hot, cold, sweet, sour, balanced by music during happy hour.

I’m from swinging on swings

My feet bare

Moving my toes as I fly through the air

I’m from my main entrance hall

Full of distant worlds that reside on the wall.

I am from wishing I could

dive into these moments forever frozen in time

and come back with a souvenir.

I am Ava.


Ava Blum

Georgetown Day School

Grade: 9


Palisades, Washington, DC


George Washinton University Hospital, DC

Favorite Author or Book:

While choosing my favorite writers is like picking between my parents, a few of my favorite writers that influenced me growing up include Grace Lin, E.B. White, Katherine Applegate, and Kate DiCamillo. I enjoy a multitude of genres, from fantasy to cozy mysteries, and as of now, my favorite books (so hard to choose!) include The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger, The Warden’s Daughter by Jerry Spinelli, A Single Shard by Linda Sue Park, and A Wind in the Door by Madeleine L’Engle.

Dream for the Future:

While I am taking everything day by day, my present dream for my future life in this world is to be an author and illustrator and continue acting. I’m also very interested in world relations and social justice, so I’d like to use my platform to help fight for the issues I care greatly about. My goal is to be able to leave the world a better place than before I set foot on it while doing what I love.

Inspirational Figure:

The adults who inspire me the most are my mother and father. My whole life, they taught me to appreciate and be grateful for all the little things and opportunities I have, and to always be the best I could be. Their legacy to put my heart and soul into everything I do and persevere through the bumps in the road continues to inspire me to be my best self every day.