UVic Diversity Writing Contest 2011

Thank you to everyone who participated in the 2011 writing contest.  Our winning entries are posted below.

Aysia Law and Jonathan Bengtson

Aysia Law - Fiction, First Place

Cold Snap

Aysia Law is a second year student in UVic's creative writing program.

She started writing self-published short stories at the age of nine, and branched out into poetry in high school.

Her piece was inspired by an experience she had when buying food for a homeless man back in Vancouver.

Kathleen Murdock and Jonathan Bengtson

Kathleen Murdock - Fiction, Second Place

Dear Grade-Seven Self

Kathleen is an undergraduate pursuing a major in political science and a minor in women's studies.

Particular areas of interest for her are Canadian politics, Indigenous studies and representations of gender and race in the media.

Kathleen hopes to one day engage herself in a career which would allow her to help improve the self-esteem of others, especially youth. This helped inspire her to write her story.

Jonathan Bengtson and Jerold Flexer

Jerold Flexer - Personal Narrative, First Place

Victory, My Son

Jerry Flexer is a student at UVic with an interest in writing, film, and language.

In the past, he has been—among other things—an accountant, a lawyer, and a teacher.

Over the years, he has visited, and lived in, several other countries. These experiences, together with an unusual peripatetic upbringing, have given him an appreciation for the beauty of diversity among different cultures, and the conviction that every person is unique.

Jerry has a special regard and admiration for Indigenous people everywhere, and for people struggling to overcome extraordinary challenges and oppression.

Jonathan Bengtson and Natasha Clark

Natasha Clark - Personal Narrative, Second Place

How I Found Unconditional Inclusion (Removed by author's request)

Natasha Clark is a mom of four and an award-winning poet.

She has been published in Canadian and American literary journals, an anthology, and is hoping to enter the fine arts writing program in September, minoring in philosophy.

This is her first term at UVic and her second year of undergraduate studies. She is currently working on a collection of subversive children's poems and has tentative plans to marry Jude Law.

Kyeren Regehr and Jonathan Bengtson

Kyeren Regehr - Poetry, First Place

Bittersweet Bean

Kyeren graduated from the University of Victoria with a BFA in Creative Writing in 2011 (and with the Victoria Medal in Fine Arts).

She's currently in the first year of her MFA in poetry and was awarded a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council grant for her thesis proposal.

Kyeren’s poetry was first published in Rocksalt: An Anthology of Contemporary B.C. Poetry, and has since appeared in several literary journals including The Malahat Review, Grain Magazine, Room Magazine, and is upcoming in Prairie Fire and Hecate.

Her work has been shortlisted for several literary awards including The Malahat Review’s Long Poem Prize, and the Open Season Awards, Arc Poetry Magazine’s Poem of the Year Award, and Exile Quarterly’s Gloria Vanderbilt Short Fiction Prize. Kyeren has been interning on the poetry board of The Malahat Review since June 2010.

Jonathan Bengtson and Michelle Zakrison

Michelle Zakrison - Poetry, Second Place

On Paper

Michelle Zakrison is an LLM (Master of Laws) candidate at the University of Victoria, whose research focuses on how the promotion and advancement of Aboriginal customary law can be utilized to improve drinking water quality on reserves in Canada and to concurrently create solutions for environmental protection. 

Previously, Michelle completed her Bachelor of Environmental Studies with a double-major in political science at the University of Waterloo. She then went to law school at the University of Ottawa and obtained her J.D. (Juris Doctor) degree where she specialized in Environmental and Aboriginal Law.

Michelle aspires to work at a small boutique environmental and Aboriginal law firm.  She's passionate about the environment, feminism, vegetarianism, and gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender rights. Last but not least, her favourite animals are llamas, bear cubs, giraffes, and beavers!