Science Poets Win Big


Ivan Lacroix

Hillel Rosenshine ’17, first place winner of both the Princeton University Poetry Contest and the CUNY Poetry Contest.

This year, three students at Bronx Science won awards in prestigious poetry contests. Hillel Rosenshine ’17, Nadia Salahuddin ’17 and Sophia Xian ’17 all managed to either win first place or runner up – all of them were chosen from thousands of applicants that participated in these contests.

Hillel Rosenshine won first place for both the Princeton University and the CUNY Poetry contest, though with different poems. His poem ‘I Know New York’, in which he describes the way he perceives the busy streets of New York, won him the number one place in the Princeton contest, while his other poem called ‘50 Years’ was awarded first place in the CUNY contest. Hillel entered these contests after hearing about them from Mr. Thorp, English teacher, who has organized these contests for Bronx Science the past few years. Rosenshine’s interest in writing was sparked by him trying to express his ideas in different ways. “I got into writing for a number of reasons. I guess I decided to try it out and kept going with it. It doesn’t come from ‘wanting to write poetry.’ It comes from wanting to think about things differently, and when I think about something like New York, I want to illustrate the thought process in a new and abstract way.”

After the initial surprise of winning first place in the Princeton competition, he never imagined he would also win the CUNY one as well.

“I was also pretty shocked when I found out about CUNY, because I thought that my Princeton win was a one-hit wonder. I didn’t think I could churn out a second poem that would do as well.”

Photo by Ivan Lacroix                                                                                                         Nadia Salahuddin ’17, winner of the Foreign Language CUNY Poetry Contest.





Nadia Salahuddin won one of two awards for the Foreign language CUNY Poetry awards. She first wrote her poem in English, but later translated it into Italian — the foreign language that she studies at Bronx Science. Nadia wrote rhymes when she was younger, and when she heard there was a competition, she decided to enter since there was nothing to lose. Nadia said, “I felt really surprised when I was informed that I was a winner,” having thought that her poem were nothing special.

Photo by Ivan Lacroix                                                                                                       Sophia Xian ’17, Runner Up Winner in the CUNY Poetry Contest.

Sophia Xian was nominated runner up in the CUNY poetry contest. She started writing poetry in the fifth grade when her teacher said that she was impressed by a poem. She, too, didn’t expect a win. “After I was informed of my win, I was pretty shocked,” she said, noting that the poem “was simply something I wrote for fun.”

Nadia’s win has inspired her to write more. She said that after winning she “signed up to be a writer for The Odyssey — an online blog — and other platforms.
I now seriously consider writing as a major, or as a possibility in my future, and creative writing has definitely opened up more pathways for me.”