Arts & Culture

In our latest podcast, we chat with UCSF alumna Jenny Qi, PhD, ’17, about how she went from publishing cartoons and news articles for Synapse to publishing an anthology of poetry, Focal Point, which received the 2020 Steel Toe Books Poetry Award. Below is an excerpt of that interview.

There are days in August when you can hear the grass reaching for the sun. Long days where the air sticks to your skin, the heat slides along your limbs like butter, and the silence of winter frost is a buried memory.

[Third place Storytelling Contest winner for photography.] Where does photography start, and where does it end? And how does a photographic artifact traverse from its inception to its printing and exhibition?

Breathe, and let go.

Another week, you got this. Keep it up. You can do it.

It will be a great day. You will be great.

Breathe, and let go.

Ok, I got this. Let’s do it. We can do it.

Breathe, and let go.

UCSF has been a sight for many historic events: public health emergencies like the HIV/AIDS pandemic, social movements like White Coats for Black Lives, and scientific discoveries like that of embryonic stem cells.

Mirror Need I scream even with this coat, you refuse to see me. my sweet alto
[This submission earned Woodger Faugas first place in the Storytelling Contest personal essay category.] Imagine finding yourself: the center of attention, in a distant, though familiar, land, before a large and spirited audience, composed largely of learned, revered men.
[First place for the Storytelling Contest photography category.] This picture was taken a few months before the 2020 US presidential election, so it seemed only appropriate that a surly-looking bald eagle would appear...
Ninad Bhat’s “Batteries” is the winner of the Synapse Storytelling Contest Creative Writing category. The poem introduces an everyday, offhand idiom of the pandemic and turns to search for deeper meaning about stolen time, privilege, and racial injustice.
The results are in! Our judges have awarded the 12 best submissions to the Synapse Storytelling Contest by talented UCSF student writers and photographers. Find out who took the top prizes.