“Taking Shape” NYU Student Writing Prize Winners: Amelia Grace Annen

November 10, 2020

Congratulations to Azeki Ali, first place winner in the Grey Art Gallery’s NYU Undergraduate Writing Prize competition; Amelia Grace Annen, second place winner; and NiccolòAcram Cappelletto, honorable mention. The Prizes were awarded for the best essay or poem by an NYU undergraduate student in response to the exhibition Taking Shape: Abstraction from the Arab World, 1950s–1980s, which was on view at the Grey from January 14 to March 13, 2020. The show was forced to close early due to COVID-19, and entrants worked from the full suite of images, gallery labels, and other resources placed on the Grey’s website. The contest judge was Lucy Oakley, Head of Education and Programs at the Grey.


Simone Fattal (Born Damascus, 1942), Celestial Forms, 1973. Oil on canvas, 25 7/8 x 31 7/8 in. Collection of the Barjeel Art Foundation, Sharjah, UAE. From the exhibition Taking Shape:
Abstraction from the Arab World, 1950s–1980s.


A Ghazal in Yellow
by Amelia Grace Annen

Sunflowers, bumblebees, lemonade ice cream, I’ve always loved yellow.
an abstraction for a summer’s day dream, I’ve always loved yellow.

My own secret heaven; too personal to utter whatever it may be that would make you stay
yellow wasn’t your favorite color, so I didn’t tell you that I’ve always loved yellow.

A little nugget of wisdom from you: never believe the movies, never do.
yellow: the color of my heart (new) when I met you, I’ve always loved yellow.

A mecca for lovers: looking for a passage to the great beyond, I loved
some mix of modern and classic, most importantly I always loved yellow.

Blurred lines of you and me, an abstract painting of Celestial Forms
or The Light from Within the Green (it just hit me) but I’ve always loved yellow.

God is repenting for a sin I made, there the final day before I go, then you lie
out of hope to stop what already came, and you say you always loved yellow.

No more Grace, It’s blue now or grey, you aren’t here and now I’m stuck in the quotidian
the color of time passing, I’m not the same, and I forget why I always loved yellow.

Amelia Grace Annen is a senior in NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, majoring in Drama with a minor in Creative Writing. She expects to graduate in May 2021.