Summer on the Farm
by Carley Malloy
I’ve decided that a family farm is a lot like a barbed wire fence; running smooth for a little while, and then running into a twist or barb that slows things down. My last year and a half has been spent working on my grandparents’ farm. Each day has been a new adventure, and I often catch myself looking back and saying, “remember the day…”
I like summer on the farm the most; the weather has warmed so the barn can be left open and I can hear the jingling of chains as the cows turn their heads to look when I come in. Summer on the farm means haying, fencing, cleaning up the winter’s mess, and letting the cows outside to stretch their long legs. Kittens and calves are born and you have the fun of tracking them down every morning to see where their mothers have decided to move them.
We spent much of our time fixing fence, but I was on crutches for a few weeks, which meant there wasn’t much I could do to help. One hot summer day, my grandfather, mom, and two of my cousins were all working down the hill from the barn, next to the road. My grandfather, unlike most farmers, fixes fence with an excavator. It works great; one person holds the fence post up and he pushes it in with the excavator bucket, and two or three others go behind and start stringing wire. Read more »
Send YWP your best poetry or prose -- BY JUNE 3 -- and be one of 10 writers selected to read their work at the AMAZING 2nd Annual Millennial Writers on Stage performance at Burlington Book Festival, Main Street Landing, Burlington, Saturday, September 21, 2013Read more »
For a few short years, Young Writers Project had the pleasure of knowing Emily Lyman and admiring her writing. Sadly, Emily passed away in December 2012. She was 15 years old, a freshman at Rice Memorial High School. She had courageously fought cancer since kindergarten. As her oncologist Alan C. Homans wrote, "When Emily left, a light went out." Dr. Homans also noted, however, that Emily left her friends and family many gifts, including her writing. Emily wrote with "startling clarity and strength and humor," YWP's Geoff Gevalt remembers. "She had voice." Emily's family has collected her poems and stories with the intent of publishing them and sharing Emily's voice with the world.
Here, Young Writers Project is honored to present "Inspired by Emily," a collection of Emily's writing that was lovingly prepared by her family. Working with the Lyman family, YWP issues this Call for Artists to illustrate Emily's work with drawings, paintings, photographs. Read Emily's writing -- and be inspired! Read more »
YWP receives many exceptional photos from students around the state. One of the most spirited, prolific and wide-ranging photographers we have come across is Kevin Huang, a freshman at Burlington High School. See his photos... Read more »
Thanks to everyone who participated in this year's Vermont Young Playwright's project and festival, a collaboration between the Vermont Stage Company and the Flynn Center for Performing Arts. YWP provided a digital space for the student participants and helped out in several workshops; we also did the live stream and live text commenting at the festival and will have medium and high resolution videos of each presented play soon.
In the meantime, feel free to go here and find the video of the play you are interested in:
FYI, 107 people tuned into the live two-day Festival, accounting for nearly 60 hours of total viewership! Also, the recorded videos have so far been viewed by 230 people.
Chat is back. We know that makes some of you happy. And we are happy when you are happy.
Here's what we found out from a week without chat: You did exactly what we thought you would (that's scary). The number of posts you viewed went up 20 percent, the amount of time you spent on the site went up 18 percent. AND you made more comments on each other's work.
So, we ask, if you like chat but chat keeps you from reading other people's work and providing comments to them, can you chat AND continue to provide other community member's support and encouragement? And if you are 'commenting' to each other about their work on chat, doesn't this prevent all of us from seeing those wonderful insights? Can you post your insightful chats, on their posts?
So we are issuing a CHALLENGE and are calling it: 30 Days of Feedback: Share and Comment. Post your own piece and then comment on someone else's work (find someone you do NOT know by clicking READ above.) And, if so moved, Sprout a Story by clicking the link below the post that inspires you and then create a new piece that will be forever linked to the one you read.
Support the community!
Hello YWP Community,
Welcome to our latest project -- YWP Radio -- host of spoken word, live slams, podcasts, original music, mixes, and who knows what else. If you wish to set up a smart phone or tablet or desktop app to pull in the feed, here's the url: majestic.wavestreamer.com:6657
DD (doug demaio) is our grand guru of the radio and has assembled hundreds of tracks from YWP sound over the years -- recorded slams, songs, music, performances ... that loop 24/7 and which now are arranged and scheduled by tags.
ARE YOU INTERESTED IN PARTICIPATING? Do you love audio? Do you like to experiment? Do you want to set up a variety show? Play your own music? Do a call-in? Interview some folks? Air a journalism project?
Talk to Doug. Write to Doug. Send Doug a message via carrier pigeon. Call him on the phone late at night. What do you think? You interested? If so, comment below. Let's get started.... think of the possibilities.
OK, tell the truth. You DO have an idea or three for improving this space. Don't you? Want additional features? Wish we had more contests? Wish you could do more with other users? WHAT?! Give us some suggestions. Help us make this online community better. Click the headline and give us a comment. OR, post a blog and use the Keyword: Suggestion
This poem was written by Alan C. Homans, Emily Lyman's oncologist. He asked if we could post it here and we are honored to do so.
It is the season of short cold days and long dark nights
But it is also the season of gifts and candlelight.
When Emily left, a light went out,
But with our help, her light can still burn bright.
Emily, being Emily, left us gifts for the season before she went away.
The first gift was simply that of her presence.
For 15 years she made this a better place –writing, acting, studying,
and generally making her life as full as possible.
Moving through her time with that wild mane of red hair… or not.
The second gift was her example of how to live.
Disappointed by disease, pain, and setbacks,
She nonetheless pushed on, not ignoring adversity, but in spite of it.
The third gift is Emily’s example of how to gracefully face the end
Realizing that her disease was getting the upper hand
She faced death down, and with courage and dignity said, in effect
“you can have this body - it has served, and betrayed, me long enough.
But you cannot take, and will never take, Emily”
In this season of short cold days and long dark nights. Read more »
Order Anthology 4 -- the best of the best of your work -- for great reading or gift. Contact YWP's Kate Stein via email: firstname.lastname@example.org or 802-324-9537. Order by mail, order here by PayPal (or credit card) or visit these book stores:
Phoenix Books (Burlington and Essex)
Crow Books (Burlington)
Bridgeside Books (Waterbury)
Rivendell Books (Montpelier)
Bear Pond Books (Montpelier)
Brown Dog Books (Hinesburg)
The Flying Pig Bookstore (Shelburne)
The Vermont Book Shop (Middlebury)
To order by mail (send to YWP, 12 North St., Burlington, VT, 05401); we'll send your copy (copies) right out in the mail. PRICES: $7 for one, $14 for two, $21 for three, $26 for four, $32 for five. Contact us if you wish more. Or you can use a credit card or PayPal through our PayPal account or see electronic version by clicking "Read More".Read more »
It's not like in the movies
Where moments are made
by a man furiously scribbling backstage.
It's a lonely, cursed phone call
bearing this news that is a dagger
Thrust into the hearts of all.Read more »
If I look at the gift I have been given by working on this project, it has been meeting, through words and sometimes in person, the remarkably talented, strong, funny, interesting kids that reside and grow and create here in Vermont. If I look at the gift I have been given by doing this work it is meeting people like Emily Lyman, a kid I have known since second grade who, sadly, died this past week. She was a freshman at Rice Memorial High School. She died, unexpectedly her mom told me, after a life defined by bouts of cancer and an incredible resilience and courage as she fought numerous "relapses." I knew her best when she was younger, but even then she had a startling clarity and strength and humor. She had voice. I still think about the first piece she sent us, in second grade, and I still tell people about it. It was in response to a prompt we had called, simply 'Hair.' It is below. (Click 'Read More')Read more »
YWP is partnering with cowbird.com to give you a WORLD-WIDE AUDIENCE on the INTERBLARG! Write stories about moments in your lives as teens. Share poetry, prose, stories, essays. Post it here; MUST have a large photo; keyword: Teen Saga. We'll post the best on Cowbird.
No story is too small or too big. But it must have a photo that complements the story. Upload a big photo -- up to 2000px wide as an attachment, and put a smaller version in the Images box.
Feel free to add audio -- a narration, perhaps, with some musical background or without. When your work is complete, post it here using this keyword: Teen Saga. And we'll post the best on cowbird.com and who knows, perhaps yours will be chosen by an indirect parter National Public Radio NPR for airing. Read more »
Welcome to the new blog identity of the Young Writers Project -- NxN. We draw our name from our latest initiative -- The North by North Project: Center for Creative Expression. We are transforming our headquarters at 12 North Street into a community hub for workshops, projects and events both at the Center and throughout the City of Burlington at schools, public spaces and other nonprofit sites.
We will be connecting our work at the Center to this site and some of the ideas we do in person will translate well into statewide collaborations on this site as well.
This blog will keep you up to date on the Center as well as provide you a variety of things that we do and think about here at YWP. The blog will, we hope, be informative and fun and intriguing. But you will be the judge of that.
FIRST, something about the NxN Project:
The YWP North by North Project
center for creative expression
The North by North Center for Creative Expression (NxN) helps youth gain voice by engaging them in writing and multi-media projects, helping them do high-quality work and sharing their best with the community and beyond. NxN is youth-led and is a collaboration of youths, artists, community activists, civic leaders, education leaders, and other nonprofits. NxN will hold workshops, events and ongoing projects at the Center at 12 North Street and at sites of partner organizations throughout the city. Participants will be linked online to youths around the state. Read more »
This speech, given by President Obama at about 1:30 a.m. (Eastern time) on Nov. 7 after his re-election, is a powerful piece of writing that shows strength, voice, vision and emotion. Obama's delivery was remarkable. It's worth study. Here is the video; the text follows and if you just want to listen while you read without the video, click the audio player. Sorry I didn't get this up sooner.
What did you think? And what are you impressions, feelings, observations, anecdotes or take-aways about the Election? Post a blog with tag of Election2012 -- gg
For those of you who remember him, comedian George Carlin had a funny bit surrounding the phrase, 'Holy ... wow!' The point was, 'how cool was that?'
And that's what this new genre is all about: Share something that really WOWS! you: Something here, or something elsewhere. Share a link or, if possible, embed it on your blog (go to plain text and paste the code). And then choose the genre, WOW!
Be judicious. Choose what you share well. And write something about why you chose it.
And to kick this off:
What I love about this package is the quality of the voices and photography, how you can understand so much about each person from what they say and what you see. These digital stories represent some of the best I've seen in revealing story and voice. Check them out.
On a personal level, this stirs my heart as a former journalist; these are exactly the types of stories I'd like to be doing. I hope to put together a team from your ranks -- anyone can join in if you are interested -- and figure out how we could do these on people in Vermont communities. Contact me if you are interested. -- ggRead more »
Hello bloggers and other assorted writing creatures,
Each week Young Writers Project publishes great work -- sparked by our prompts OR great writing you guys have done on your own -- in 21 newspapers and on vpr.net. Send us your best stuff! Submit one of your blog posts! It's EASY! And when your piece is selected you become: "A PUBLISHED AUTHOR." Your boyfriend/girlfriend will swoon. Your friends will be envious. Your parents will be happy with you! You will be proud!
Do it! So when you click WRITE click "Yes, this is a Newspaper Submission" or go into a blog post you really like, edit it and click YES!"
In 2012-13, YWP is publishing best student work in 21 newspapers in VT and NH and on Vermont Public Radio's Web site, vpr.net (and some on-air appearances, too.) Click on the prompt and see the writing that has already been submitted. Add yours today! We want your work! Attached below is a pdf version of the prompts. ALSO, large versions of the photos are in a slide show at bottom; if you click on the photo you can "download the original" for the purposes of printing it out.
What if... what if we had a rasher of you out there creating video poems? This is a wonderful poem, by a high schooler in Newton, MA, but imagine what you could do... gg
One day when I was still in Jamaica I was listening to the radio. There’s an artist by the name of Etana. She was singing a song called “People Talk.” While I was listening to the words of the song, it was talking about people that will always talk behind your back, no matter what. People will always see the bad in you and not really the good. Sometimes it is better to avoid certain circumstances of people trying to ruin or disturb your life.
They don’t understand how you’re still pushing to get through. They would laugh and call you bad names because they just don’t get it. Those are some things you can expect from some so called friends which we can call friend-enemies. Some just come in your life to use you, then abuse you..
This is a set of poems that I wrote a long time ago. I don't remember why I wrote them, or what they were even about. I thought they had some potential, so I thought I might leave them here. I'm going to start scouring the archives of what I have written bbut never posted, and try to make something of it. Most of what I've been writing recently has been really depressing, so I thought it was time to change it up. Although I am currently incapable of producing anything other than depressive bile, I will find old poems that have some other meaning and put them up here. Please feel free to comment/edit/help me make the younger me's poems better.
I – Lights
Laying on an endless beach
Stars lie just beyond my reach
Hidden in the thickest clouds
Lost inside the waves of sound
The waves that roll into the deep
And drag me into endless sleep
But as I start to slip away
Something takes my night away
It shoots across the sky like flames
And hurls me out into the day
II – Flames and Flags
When I was alive
On the island of fire
I walked a path
Holding a torch
And a white flag
The peace I wanted
And hope I had
III – Living and Surviving
Following a winding road
Towards the heart
It is so easy
To escape its lines
And to become lost
But we carry on
Into the waiting day
So we can live
Rather than just survive
Heart of a Hero
When most children think of the Army they think of red, white, and blue. They think of men and women marching triumphantly through the walls of an enemy, to defeat whatever person is against the US. They think of the USA being the best, with our army strong and forever protecting our county. They are patriotic, and believe that everything is right.
But when I think of the army, I think of a big man sitting at a huge mahogany desk, surrounded by papers which he stamps with red ink. He laughs, and props his feet up and leans back in his giant leather chair and shouts in a heavy voice.
"Whose life shall I ruin next? Whose family shall I tear apart and make suffer for no reason? While I sit here and happily watch them struggle? "
I pray for Kansas
Their world once a beautiful canvas
Torn apart by a tornado
All their crops of corn and potatoes
I can't imagine loosing my house
It's all to hard for me to picture
But for people in Kansas right now they have to deal with this kind of stuff but 10 times bigger
I saw the after pictures and couldn't help but grieve
what that tornado did was the act of a thieve
Stealing away friends and family members children that were to young
Not showing any compassion, not a drop of love
It just sucked the state up into it's swirling blender
And shot it back out, the untouched land slender
I can't help but feel for them
For all the loss they have been through
I might not know them but their Americans to
And I just send hope to them through this tuff time
And I want to reinsure them that everything will turn out fine.
Journal Entries of a French Teenage Girl
July 20th, 1789
Today my pa left with a bunch of other men unknown to me, to go fetch some gunpowder and arms. Rumors have been passed around that perhaps, Louis is planning to use military forces to destroy the National Assembly. Wouldn't that be a shame? After all they have gone through to establish it... Others say other foreign troops are commin' to get us. They're afraid our movement will inspire other countries to do the same. We're in danger every second of the day, but I'm not sure which I would prefer; dying of starvation, or of a sword blow. It's just too horrible to think about.
My pa didn't let my ma go―says it would be too dangerous. The worst part is―he didn't even eat before he went! Says we need the energy. I guess it's true that a few lumps of dry bread from the other day is not much, but it's better than going on a mission on an empty stomach. My pa's a good man. He ain't ever selfish.
July 23rd, 1789 Read more »
The girl with the gold scrunchier wasn't just a girl
She was someone who would leave your brain in a whirl
Her tasteful clumsy-ness, yet fragile beauty
The way her hair was always tucked tight to her head not one strand flowing loosely
The girl with the gold scrunchie
Was shy, yet funny
She still lives til this day
A normal student in middle school who does homework, and essays
The girl with the gold scrunchie
Isn't just a girl
she's an original work of art in every single curl
That girl with her hair up in a scrunchie is me.
Just a normal girl sitting wondering what other people see.
I'm done here. Please let me go
I don't want to listen to you tell me that you understand, you know
...Because the honest lie is you don't
You can tell me you do and try but no matter what you say or do I know the truth
So i'm going now
Leaving this awful crowd
I can't take anymore
I'm walking right through that open door
I never needed to listen for so long
But I guess I was waiting to see if what I was doing was right or wrong
I'm saying good-bye as sincere as I can
But I'm telling you now, you will never see me here again.
fragile plum pedals,
fly in in the soft breeze.
like a thousand snowflakes dancing,
against the somber grey of the sad clouds.
a hummingbird sits on a branch,
flapping his gleaming wings,
in the pale light seaping through the small holes
made by angels to watch over our perilious earth.
the sky starts to weep,
pouring down a flood,
of meaningless memories,
that shall be forgotten again in the brightness of morning,
like so many other thing were before.
and so I just sit and watch,
like i have done so many other nights.