Main content
Two seniors awarded Louis B. Sudler Prize in the Arts for creative writing and music
Portrait of Amalia Tenuta and Ssuyuan Wang standing together

Graduating seniors poet Amalia Tenuta (left) and pianist Ssuyuan Wang are this year’s recipients of the Sudler Prize, which recognizes exceptional contributions to the performing and creative arts on campus.

Students Amalia Tenuta and Ssuyuan (Sara) Wang are Emory University’s 2022 recipients of the Louis B. Sudler Prize in the Arts. The award honors graduating seniors who have demonstrated remarkable promise in the performing or creative arts.

The Sudler Prize, given annually at Emory and a select group of colleges across the nation, including Princeton, Duke and MIT, is accompanied by a $6,000 award.

Amalia Tenuta

Originally from Kansas City, Kansas, Tenuta is described as a “poet of beautifully wild conjectures” whose poems are “musical and intense” by Jericho Brown, Charles Howard Candler Professor of English and Creative Writing.

“She is probably the student I’ve had who most thirsts for any opportunity she can get to study with as many published poets as possible and, through that study, to begin to see her abilities as a poet grow exponentially,” says Brown. “Watching this growth has been inspiring for me as a professor … and as a poet who needs to believe that there will always be influences to help me grow.”

“It is a massive honor to be named a Sudler Award winner; I was honestly very surprised,” says Tenuta, a creative writing and women’s gender and sexuality studies (WGSS) double major.

She credits professors such as Brown, Emily Leithauser (formerly of the Creative Writing program) and Kadji Amin (WGSS) for their support of her creative and intellectual growth.

In addition, Tenuta recognizes the impact her community at Emory has had on her successful academic career, which will continue this fall in the MFA program at the University of Minnesota, where she will study poetry and feminist theory.

“I would like to shout out my collaborators, conspirators and broader community of creatives who ensure my survival and produced the conditions upon which all this work is possible,” Tenuta says. “Plus, all those from Kansas City to Crown Heights who have been willing to listen to me rant about queer and trans marxisms, or the importance of militant labor movements — love and solidarity.”

Sara Wang

Ssuyuan (Sara) Wang’s artistic prowess was apparent from her first day at Emory.

“Right away, her level of playing and maturity stood out,” says Elena Cholakova, director of piano studies at Emory. “Describing Sara Wang’s success at Emory University is inspiring on many levels. Sara is a most wonderful pianist, musician and multifaceted student who has clear goals about her future and knows how to achieve them.”

Originally from Taiwan, Wang graduates with a degree in music from Emory College of Arts and Sciences and a bachelor’s in business administration from Goizueta Business School — where she will pursue a master’s of analytical finance in the fall.

Like Tenuta, Wang credits the community around her for creating an environment in which she could flourish.

“I appreciate all of the love and care I received from my professor Dr. Cholakova, my family and my friends at Emory,” says Wang. “Without the understanding and care I received from everyone, I wouldn't have achieved my goals at Emory today.”

Despite her plans to obtain her chartered financial analyst (CFA) certificate in the coming year, Wang will not be abandoning the piano. Following her time at Goizueta, she plans to continue her music studies in New York City, where she has been accepted into the Manhattan School of Music.

“I feel extremely honored and grateful to win the Sudler Award,” says Wang. “I have always maintained a passion for art and it's amazing to be honored for something I deeply love.”

Recent News