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Westlake Winners

Student wins National Poetry Award

Xiaole Zhan (Year 13) won First Place in the 2019 International Institute of Modern Letters’ (IIML) National Schools Poetry Award, with her poem titled ‘Mammalian’.

Xiaole Zhan receives a prize of $500 and the opportunity to attend a poetry masterclass with poet Chris Tse and Starling editor Francis Cooke at the IIML, at Victoria University of Wellington’s prestigious creative writing programme. Judge Chris Tse, whose poetry has been widely published and performed in New Zealand and overseas, said “Xiaole Zhan’s evocative poem, ‘Mammalian’ triggers a multi-sensory response in the reader. From its bold, imagistic opening to the breathless desperation of its final lines, ‘Mammalian’ reeled me in and refused to let me go until the final word.”