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Prizes and Honors / Joan Lee Yang Memorial Poetry Prize

Description. The Joan Lee Yang Memorial Poetry Prize is awarded for the best poem or group of poems. Both graduate and undergraduate students may apply. 

History of the Prize. The Joan Lee Yang Memorial Poetry Prize was established in memory of Joan Lee Yang, who was a sophomore at UC Berkeley when she was killed in San Francisco while returning home from a bicycle ride in Golden Gate Park on Easter Sunday in 1969. A member of Mensa and Who’s Who of American High School Students in 1967-68, she was brilliant yet extremely modest.  She loved music, mathematics, and cooking, and had developed a fierce love of poetry. Ms. Yang believed in nonviolence and advocated peaceful means of resolving disputes. In support of the Third World, she attended classes off-campus. Only 18 when she died, she lives forever in the hearts of her parents and sisters, her friends, and her teachers whom she trusted and respected affectionately.

Contest deadlines vary. Please check the Prizes and Honors home page for this prize's deadline.

Please review the General Rules for Competitive Prizes.

Previous Winners

2015-16: Taylor Altman, graduate winner ($525); Evan Bauer, David A. Hernandez, and Jesslyn Whittell, undergraduate winners ($525 each)


2014-15: David Hernandez, Andrew David King, and Claire Stancek ($1,000 each)


2013-14: Irina Popescu, graduate winner ($750); Jessica Cox, Andrew David King, and Lisa Levin, undergraduate winners ($750 each)


2012-13: Rachel Trocchio, graduate winner ($750); Noor Al-Samarrai, Laura Ferris, and Andrew David King, undergraduate winners ($750 each)


2011-12: Colin Dingler, graduate winner ($500); Andrew David King, Bryce Thornburg, Kayla Krut, undergraduate winners ($500 each)


2010-11: Rachel Trocchio, graduate winner ($500); Jenny (Yi ) Xie, Andrew David King and Abram Coetsee, undergraduate winners ($500 each)


2009-10: Sohir Albgal, Kayla Krut, Gillian Osborne and Jared Sandusky-Alford ($375 each)


2008-09: Steven Lance and Gillian Osborne ($750 each)


2007-08: Beatrix Chan and Sam Pittman ($250 each)


2006-07: Hillary Gravendyk, graduate winner ($250); Pablo Lopez, undergraduate winner ($250)


2005-06: Elizabeth Marie Young and Julie Carr ($250 each)


2004-05: Jennifer Scappettone ($200), Matthew Werner and Harmony Holiday ($150 each)


2003-04: Elizabeth Marie Young ($500)


2002-03: Trane DeVore ($500)


2001-02: Warren Liu ($500)


2000-01: Dana Stevens ($500), John Rauschenberg ($300), Nadia Nurhussein ($200) Ellen Samuels ($200)


1999-00: Jasmine Donahaye ($300); Jessica Fisher and Ellen Samuels ($200 each); Sandra Lim, Sarah Liu and Mandy Kahn ($100 each)


1998-99: Kimberly Johnson, Sandra Lim, and Dana Stevens ($400 each)


1997-98: Sandra Lim and Damion Searls ($375 each); Nadia Nurhussein ($150)