Savour the diversity

The winners of the 2012-2013 Diversity Writing Contest and first annual UVic Diversity Slam Poetry Contest were announced on Jan.30 at First Peoples House, during the opening reception of the Provost’s Diversity Research Forum: Rethinking Realities.

In the fiction category of the Diversity Writing Contest, third-year French student Jin Kyung Yeo took first place for her story Kintsugi, while chemistry master’s student Brian Coleman was second for 8 Down and Out. In the personal narrative category, there was a tie for first place between Natasha Clark for her piece Loving Genderqueer and graduate student Sepideh Heydari for Born 23-year-old. First-year student Jordan Konyk placed second with Returning. In the poetry category, third-year social work student Frances Woodcock placed first for her piece Niger Delta Dirge, while Erin Cotton (Sensing Femininity) and Adrian Southin (The first thing you do when lost is build shelter) tied for second.

Winners took home cash prizes of $200 (first place) and $100 (second place), thanks to the generosity of the faculties of business, fine arts, graduate studies, human and social development, humanities, law, social sciences and science. 2012 Diversity Writing Awards fiction winner and recently appointed Youth Poet Laureate for Victoria Aysia Law and University Librarian Jonathan Bengtson presented the awards to this year's winners. To read the diversity of winning entries, visit

In the first annual UVic Diversity Slam Poetry Contest, participants created three-minute videos of their slam poetry on a topic or theme relating to diversity, equity and/or inclusion. The contest was open to all University of Victoria students as well as youth in the Capital Regional District. Of the entries submitted, a piece entitled Blood Lines by Gautham Krishnaraj, a student at Lester B. Pearson United World College, received the most Facebook "likes." Krishnaraj won $150 and also took home the jury award with an additional $250 prize. All of the slam poetry video entries may be viewed at

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Keywords: diversity, contest, writing

People: Jin Kyung Yeo, Brian Coleman, Natasha Clark, Sepideh Heydari, Jordan Konyk, Frances Woodcock, Erin Cotton, Adrian Southin

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