Carolyn Hohl ’21 can add a new set of awards to her growing list: The young poet recently received two national recognitions from the nonprofit organization Scholastic Art & Writing Awards for two of her poems.
“Sacrament” received a gold medal and “Grains of Sand” earned a silver medal. The poems also received gold key regional awards from Scholastic.
“Sacrament,” which is based on the idea of creating a new holiday for those who are often unseen by traditional religious organizations, was also a finalist in the 14th Annual Smith College Poetry Prize for High School Girls in New England & New York.
The poet, whose work tends to focus on the intersections of identity and personal growth, was “absolutely thrilled” when she found out that she had received the national medals. “Getting these awards in quarantine definitely lifted my spirits,” Hohl said.
Hohl explained that, while she has always enjoyed writing, it wasn’t until she joined Outspoken, the School’s spoken word poetry group, as a freshman that she began to delve more deeply into poetry.
“Outspoken is a really close community which allows me to explore the medium even more,” Hohl, who is the group’s co-president, said.
And while she is not able to gather with her fellow Outspoken members due to the stay-at-home orders, she has found herself putting pen to paper quite a bit during remote learning: “Like everyone else, I am doing a lot of self-reflection during this time and poetry is an amazing outlet for me.”
A selection of Hohl’s poetry, along with the works of fellow Outspoken members, was recently featured in “Panache,” the School’s annual student-created art magazine.
In 2019, Hohl received two Scholastic Award silver keys, one each for “Still White” and “Lines on the Sidewalk.” In 2018, she won a Scholastic Award silver key for her poem, "Stairway." She also won an honorable mention in the flash fiction category for "Behind the Mask" and an honorable mention for her short story "The Ocean is Always Moving."