SALT LAKE (ABC4) – Gabriella Miranda a high school senior at Rowland Hall has been given one of the nation’s highest honors for young poets. Miranda was selected as one of five National Student Poets.

The Institute of Museum and Library Services and the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers selected the National Student Poets from high schoolers in grades 10-11 who collectively submitted more than 24,000 works in the 2023 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. Miranda was chosen to represent the Western Region of the United States.

National Student Poets will serve as national poetry ambassadors, sharing their passion for poetry, literacy and the literary arts with their communities and throughout their regions, and will each receive a $5,000 academic award. Winners this year were from Florida, New York, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Utah.

“It’s challenging for me to distill exactly how I feel about being named a National Student Poet because writing, and poetry especially, has always been very central to my life,” said Gabriella. “Writing is what I love most in the world, and I can’t even begin to express my excitement about the opportunities to come in the following year, from engaging with other poets whose work I’ve studied and admired for years to developing a service project in order to connect with other students and writers in the community.”

Miranda will travel with the other four National Student Poets to the White House the first week of October to meet with First Lady Dr. Jill Biden. The gathering will include a reading of their works during a presentation with the First Lady.

She has been an editor of Rowland Hall’s literary magazine, Tesserae, since her freshman year, and in addition to being named a National Student Poet Gabriella was also recently named to the United Nations Foundation’s Girl Up Global Teen Advisory Board, which is dedicated to helping young leaders gain knowledge, resources and support to amplify their activism across the globe.

In the Pocket of County Mayo

Written by Gabriella Miranda

In your car we are alight,
Sun-drunken and splintered in auburn.
We burn through the five senses with an audible pulse,
The crackle our chosen currency.

We can sever the island into palm-sized pieces as we go,
chewing without swallowing,
While we siphon the taste of saltwater
from its laden earth in languid
and inhuman swallows.

I show you how I’ve grown to tell time with my knuckles,
Hoarding the clock face tree trunks, embalmed cliffs,
And molten syrup streams we pass in my joints,
The reservoir of tendon leaden and residual.

You say most only know this feeling when it’s taken intravenously,
When it can still be vulpine and sinuous,
A vine left to snake and saturate until overgrown.

If I listen to you for too along,
My few selves misplace their connective tissue,
And the network annuls into two open faces.

But I listen for the same reason
I catch myself drinking more water–
To give edges,
To the shape I hold vaulted and skeletal,

Even when you seethe to soften its outline.
The leather of your palm bone-chafing in its warmth,
Hungry to fuse two halves together and call it whole.

I like that your hands
–and by some association, you–
Know how to do this,
Misusing their curvature to make food from flame.

But the pulmonary valve
will remember to clean itself again,
The muscle no longer holding the right sort of memory,
And your dialect will forget how it sounds next to my own,
A lapse in heartbeat, a slip of the tongue.

The road goes stagnant and the headlights think
Before deflating,
while you imbue through the cavity of the car door.
I watch through the rearview mirror
As your smoke seduces the air like silk.

Would night have made this more palatable,
Taken away its taste?