Emma Lazarus Project

The Emma Lazarus Project explores the story of Emma Lazarus, a fifth-generation American Jew caught in an important turning point in American and Jewish History. The initiative—including an exhibit, curriculum and poetry contest—uses primary sources straight from the archive to encourage students to piece together Emma’s fascinating story, and to join the ongoing conversation about American identity.

If You Could Write a Poem For The Statue of Liberty Today, What Would You Say?

The Emma Lazarus Poetry Contest offered young and emerging poets the opportunity to reimagine The New Colossus. View all of our winner and finalist submissions below for 2020 and 2021.

2021 Poetry Contest Winners and Finalists

Middle School

Come and Belong

by Angelique Sarofim

Angelique Sarofim

2020 Poetry Contest Winners and Finalists

Middle School

For All Her Storied Strength

by Sophie Goldensohn

High School

Lady Liberty: Reimagined

by Kevin Kong


Winners and Finalists

by Benjamin Regan

The heartbeat of our land reverberates, vibrates from liberty on a stand. A torch for truth, a flame for freedom, may immigrants see their…

by Lilly Wu

To yearn for more, one reaches outto the opportunities Lady Liberty does provide.A torch in her right hand shines brightbeyond the labyrinthine darkness of…

by Ayelet Amittay

I was born a giant. I held firein one hand, the book of justicein the other. I was born to metaland flame, the rain…

by Everett Arellano

As Lady Liberty looks around,She realizes what the nation is all about,Murder, discrimination, war all throughout,A divided nation where politicians fight for power,Where the…

by Angelique Sarofim

Her watching eyes have gazed upon the progress of a century and then some. Those eyes of bottle green, boundlessly bold, Forever watching the…

by Alexa Marsh

Are the lines that stretch down the Patina skin of lady liberty emblems Of a hallowed history? Once her Thick brows and stiff lips…

by A. Thu Ngo

Mother of Exiles—conceived in abolitionist dreambut still barely rid of the shackle and chain at your feet—you struggle to stand erect; this vision you’ve…

by Samantha Tan

“Happy 4th of July”a phrase said proudly every year my young blind self. Happy for who Lessons taught about America,conveniently leaving out th rest…

by Dana Blatte

i.Give me your tired, your poor,your waterlogged mouths of rubble,your salt-lipped bleedingtongues & prayer-bent palms.Look: lady liberty, guardianof shipwrecks & wayward bodies.Guide us ashore…