Previous Winners

2019 Balocating Prize Winner

Congratulations to Sameed Khan, whose poem "Lament for Aleppo" was chosen by Tyehimba Jess as the 2019 Annie Balocating Undergraduate Prize for Poetry winner.


Lament for Aleppo

Ya Halab,

Your silence sang its clarion call

Past the mortars and their screaming fall

Past the guns in the shouting streets

From the half million dead heartbeats

And the debris stands as witness there

to the corpses unnamed and undeclared.

Ya Ash-Shahbaa (The White One),

your white face now masked in red

Your body scarred by their tank treads

Your laughing streets and towering domes

Now scattered rubble and deserted homes

Your floating parapets and balconies

Ground to dust beneath their marching feet

Your walls, sentry against Kitquba and Tamerlane

Now hear again, the gray refrain

Of cacophony in bullets and shells

The litany of knives delicately held

To draw the deed, to end a painful hope

That your flaming cries would draw to a close.


Pray for Aleppo

Whose children cry beneath the ground

Whose final requiem rings and resounds

Crimson tones of death and dreams denied

For here, its burning freedom came alight

Here, its desperate martyrs lived and died

Pray for Aleppo,

Whose elegies have borne and bled

The silent sighs of the watching dead.



Past Winners
2018            Maddy Wheelock
2017            Emma Hintzen
2016            Anna Goodson
2015            Connor Yeck
2014            Jenny Crakes
2013            Tony Lograsso
2012            Grace Pappalardo
2011             Korey Hurni