The hardest part about being an immigrant or first-generation American is finding words to truly express the tightrope that is always there. I think translation is a myth. If you say the same word in three different languages, you are going to get three very different pictures in your mind. Language is tangled up in the colors and textures and smells of an entire culture. It is so much more than words in a dictionary. That is why, if you are in the position of being caught between two cultures, you have to find your own vocabulary and sets of images to describe your unique position in the world. Once you do that, it gets a little easier. I, also, think it is important to find a thread that links your two cultures and hold fast to it, so you don't end up feeling like you have a split personality. For me, that thread is ballet. It is my linking language. And after all, the best thing about being caught between cultures is having such a rich treasure chest brimming with words and experiences. They can be very powerful if you learn to tap into them and trust them.Enjoy reading the winning poems, and stay tuned for the results of the short story contest, as I'm waiting to hear back from the winners ...
2006 Poetry Contest Winners!
The Fire Escape is proud to announce the winners of the 2006 Teen Poetry Contest. First prize winner Amelia described life between cultures beautifully:
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