Stem Cell Poetry Contest Winners Announced

2009 Stem Cell Poetry Contest Winners Announced

CIRM would like to thank the many individuals who submitted poems to help celebrate Stem Cell Awareness Day. Due to the diversity of entries received, first place winners were chosen in both short and long form categories. The poems were chosen by a four-judge panel.

1st place for Haiku/short form

Stemmed from a Haiku

Tis’ the day to praise,
The base of life unhazed,
The world in one cell.

Jonathan Lee
The Drew School

1st place for long form

“The Non-Terminator”

Stem Cells, Oh Stem Cells,
Endless potentials have you.
The ability to grow and divide,
Self-replicate, reproduce and renew.

Your diversity allows
For any kind of tissue.
To exist and propagate
Without many an issue.

Your Powers of healing,
And of critical repair
Enable our lovers
To never despair.

Then why is it, Oh Stem Cell
That many assume
You’ve spawned from a corpse
Of an ‘evil’ one’s womb?

Where is the common notion
That the public should possess
That you’ve likely come from
A clinic, a cord or another address?

Prejudged and discriminated,
You are misunderstood.
But you dominate survival.
In ways others never could.

You’ve shown the whole world
With genetic programming tech
That differentiation without limit
Should inspire Obama’s next check.

Your struggle, strong Stem Cell
Has influenced me
To live my whole life
With constant potency!

Jessica Grubaugh
Purdue University

Honorable Mention – Haiku

Pleuripotent, eh
Totipotent takes the cake
Thank goodness for eggs

Andrew D. Leavitt, MD
University of California, San Francisco

The Stem Cell Awareness Day Poetry Contest entries were reviewed by Don Gibbons, Chief Communications Officer and Ellen Rose, of CIRM along with Melissa Fondakowski and Doug Sipp. CIRM would like to thank Melissa and Doug for their participation and expertise.

Melissa Fondakowski’s work has appeared in several magazines and journals including Many Mountains Moving, Santa Clara Review, the San Francisco Chronicle, and Blue Fifth Review, as well as in English and Macedonian in Blesok/Shine. A 22-page chapbook of her poetry entitled “Impatiens” was the winner of the 2001 Sow’s Ear Review Poetry Chapbook Competition and was published in 2002. She lives in Oakland, California.

Doug Sipp manages the office for science communications and international affairs at the RIKEN Center for Developmental Biology, a research institution in Kobe, Japan and provides administrative support to a number of international and Asia-regional scientific societies. He is working with scientists in the Asia-Pacific region to launch a regional stem cell research organization. Doug has a degree in literature from Rutgers University.