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Jenny Lee: Class of 2015 Creative Writing Awards contestant

Photo - Jenny Lee

To honor the University’s Class of 2015 Creative Writing Awards, the Library is publishing contestants’ poems or prose excerpts on Falvey’s blog. The Library also has created posters for the contestants’ poems or prose excerpts, which will be displayed throughout the library’s first floor.

The contest includes both poetry and prose (fiction or creative non-fiction). The Department of English will announce the Class of 2015 Creative Writing Awards winners at its annual awards ceremony.

by Jenny Lee

When we drive home,
we pass through Newark
where the factory lamps
burn against the oily night,
like lanterns hung
on the branches of a winter tree.

Sitting in the passenger’s seat
of your car, drowsy from
the warmth of the heater and my
knitted scarf, I think those lights
are so beautiful,
I could cry.

Once, I confessed this to you,
and you laughed.
“Don’t you see the dirty fumes
coming from the factories?”
My cheeks grew hot
and I didn’t mention the lights again.

But the next time we drove home,
we passed
through Newark,
and I was sleeping
in the passenger’s seat when
you woke me gently to say,
“Look. Your favorite lights.”

Jenny Lee, a Class of 2015 Creative Writing Awards contestant, says “‘Newark’ was inspired by all the times I drove by the Newark/Elizabeth area during nighttime. The view of all the factory lights always struck me as intensely beautiful, despite knowing the area is extremely polluted in reality. The strange dissonance remained with me, and I felt the need to put it into a poem.”

Jenny Lee is an English major from Haworth, New Jersey. She enjoys “being with friends, going to coffee shops, and eating breakfast foods at night.”



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Last Modified: April 27, 2015

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