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Showing posts from October, 2008

From Poem to Essay

Tonight six Dream Keepers met at Atkinson Library to begin working on the Martin Luther King, Jr. essay contest. I just wrote five essays for a writing fellowship, so I know how long and hard the essay-writing process can be. Most of the teens asked to write poems instead. Here's the crazy part. When the students showed me their poems—I saw the seeds of essays. "This is your starting point," I said. "Really?" they asked. Yes. Really.

I can't show you those poems—I'll save them for January, when the essays are published. Two students did write acrostic peace poems just for the blog. Two other students wrote their I AM poems as a way to introduce themselves to you.

Enjoy reading. (Then go write your own poems!)

by Davonn May

Achieving man who
Reunited people of all ages. He was a
Truthful man. He also was
Intelligent. He was
Never racist.

by Daquan May


by Andreya Jones

I am brown-eyes, dark caramel colore…

Writing in Autumn

Tonight we met some new Dream Keepers.  How fun! They are students at the Young Leaders Academy. They wrote I AM poems and Urban Haiku poems. One of our founding members was also present, working on a scholarship application. Sitting in a bright, big room in the library, looking out the window to take in the leaves—it was a perfect afternoon. Enjoy!
I Am by Daquan May, age 10
I am tall, caramel, handsome, skinny. I am smart, goofy, playful, me. I am a gymnast. I play basketball. I jump around. I read books. I am a son, brother, worker, player. I am 10-years-old.  I am Daquan.

Money by Daquan May
In my pocket I have a lot of green. Money is not the most important. part of me.

I Am by Davonn May, age 13
I am tall, handsome, smart, funny. I am dark chocolate. I am fast. I play basketball, football, baseball, and swim. I am Davonn May.
I am a son, a brother, a cousin, an uncle. I study. I do my work. I love school. I have good grades. I go to church. I read the Bible. I am a son of God. I am Davonn May.

Fall by Davonn…

Fall Writing Work

We've been meeting at the library since September. Some of our work has to do with self-discovery. The young people have written about difficult past events—trying to make meaning from them. Psychologist James Pennebaker links this work with increased happiness and wellness over time. That work was beautiful and private. The girls have also been writing about their future—either a vision of their best possible future selves or a list of the fifty to one-hundred things they want to do before they die. Psychologists also link visioning a good future in great detail to increased happiness. These exercises are harder for the young people to do. I'm not sure why. I need to ask them about that. 
Here's a collection of poems that come from our various meetings this fall. I always have an assignment, but often the teens just want to write whatever comes to mind. Their goal is always to make something that's raw—or cool. And they do it. Every single time. Enjoy!

Alone by Elisha Br…