Wordsmith wins Ontario Society of Poets award


Wordsmith wins Ontario Society of Poets award


Sandy Millar

Nov 27, 2005

Having just started her career in poetry two years ago, Mississauga poet Anna Yin was surprised to win the prestigious Ted Plantos Memorial Award from the Ontario Society of Poets.

“I couldn’t believe it,” said Yin. “I thought they were calling about something else, so it took me a moment to understand the reason for their call. I feel so lucky they chose me.”

Yin entered the competition with three of her latest poems, including a tribute to Cecelia Zhang, entitled No More Weeping. A second was entitled There Must Be Something, and a third, Moon Night.

None are longer than 38 lines and her style is freeform, but it suggests a traditional hint of the common verse.

Not all poets have the talent for honing in on just the right word, but Yin possesses that rare gift.

“I don’t work at finding the right word,” said Yin. “It just comes to me. I think if you write from the heart, the right words will flow. I can usually finish a poem in 10 or 20 minutes, but I have to be in the mood.”

Her usual subject matter includes topics such as nature, animals, love and feelings, but most of her offerings envelope the poignant themes of hope, longing and sadness.

As I.B. Iskov, Founder of the Ontario Poet’s Society noted, “Through her delicate, sensitive and haunting manner, Anna Yin’s poems will carry you from exciting, exotic places to your own backyard. From Haikus to her sorrowful melodic sweet verses, you will want to read them over and over again.”

During her first year as a poet, Yin produced more than 100 poems.

Now that she has a better grasp of the challenge, though, she has slowed her pace and seeks constant evaluations and critiques from her peers before moving on.

To date, she has produced 170 poems and two booklets.

She has also garnered several smaller awards.

Yin writes in both English and Chinese and complements much of her work with pictures.

The judge in this year’s competition was famed international poet John B. Lee. He noted that it took no time at all to separate her work from the rest and added that Yin speaks from the heart.

The Ontario Poet’s Society was founded in 1999 and boasts 188 members.

Based in Toronto, it is one of the most prominent organizations in the GTA, with 14 branches across the province.

Proceeds from the competition go to the Ted Plantos Memorial Seed Fund, established to give financial support to new poets and emerging writers.

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