Apr 13

Press Release: Muslim Girls Making Change to represent Vermont in national slam poetry competition

Mar 25

Wake Up, America


Editor’s note: This piece was written and is performed by Hawa Adam, Lena Ginawi, Kiran Waqar and Balkisa Abdikadir, four high school sophomores from Burlington and South Burlington. They were selected to represent Vermont in the Brave New Voices national poetry slam competition in Washington, D.C. in July 2016.

Wake Up, America

September 11, 2001
Wake up, America, the enemy is here.
The terrorists. The Jihadists. Those A-rabs.
The womanizers. The monsters. Those Bin Ladens.
We are the ones to watch out for,
to surveil, to remove, to attack.

But actually we are
the advocates, the award winners, the bilinguals.

Mar 10

Wired In

Mar 02

The Teen

People write novels on the enigma that is the teen.
They cannot figure out how these people trapped in the in-between
can exist and function.
Hey, neither can we.

These people analyze teens for all the wrong reasons:
they look at how video games affect our brains
but forget to calculate the amount of hours spent on homework.
I have not played a videogame in years
and yet there is still something caught in my brain that I can’t shake loose.
Can you diagnose that?

They say we’re moody because we don’t get enough exercise
and while it might factor in,
they really should focus on how we’re in the midst of a sort of identity crisis,
just learning of the lies we were told when we were young:
Feb 15

Seuss on the Loose

If you are alone, at home, and extremely bored

And you think that you just might go out of your gourd,

I, Fred the pufffluff, have the solution for you

Let's do a dance to the good ole kazoo!

There's a hop and a step and a spin all around

With a jump and a leap 'til you fall on the ground

Oh, are you tired? No, no wait there's more!

There are so many tricks that I have in store!

We could dance on our feet, or our hands, or our heads

Or our toeses or noses or jump on our beds

But if you're still bored, Oh there's lots more to do

When you are with me, there's no need to feel blue

For the word pufffluff has three Fs in a row!

Now here's a new word that you just did not know

You look pretty tired, I'm sorry, it's true!

I, Dr. Fred, say that you have the flu!

Well, I guess I must run
Feb 11

Vermont Writes Day 2016

Every year, all across Vermont, kids and adults alike drop what they're doing and write. Vermont Writes Day has come to be known and loved as a day of creation, sharing, and fun. This writerly tradition, now in its seventh year, is a happy reminder of the power of the written word.

Young Writers Project organizes this event each year to spread the joy of writing (or to convince people that such a thing exists). This year (2016) over 1,800 people from all across the state joined in and posted their writing online. Many more participated offline--like the Renaissance School, who had students as young as first grade presenting their stories out loud to a rapt audience.

"Fingers dance smoothly over a keyboard..." from "Six words"
Feb 03

Sea Stairs

They wait for someone to come
To walk down their steps into the murky darkness
To enter their unknown world
So they can grasp them
Take the living soul that is left inside them
And devour it.
They wait for someone who is fearless
Who wants to explore their world
“Come in, Come in” They chant
Pulling all those that are careless toward them
Into the dark water
They wait for centuries
Just for a soul to take and consume
Once someone starts the journey of the stairs,
They can never turn back
For the stairs allow no one to escape
No matter what
The water below looks welcoming
But it is anything but that
Its pulls you in and locks you inside
For millennium you will stay there with no soul,
Jan 18

The Fence

"...when you suddenly find your tongue twisted and your speech stammering as you seek to explain to your six-year-old daughter why she can't go to the public amusement park..."
From Letters from Birmingham Jail, August 1963, Martin Luther King, Jr.

A young girl walked to meet her friend at the swing set.
She followed the same path that she always took.
They were seven, life was good. But today everything changed.
She crawled under the fence where there was an opening.
She ran across the grass to meet her friend—but stopped short.
A lady was standing between them, holding her friend's hand.
"Is this the girl?" the lady asked her daughter.
The daughter hid her face and nodded, cowering under her mother's gaze.
The lady turned back and faced the little girl standing by the fence.
"You leave us alone!" she yelled across the grass. "Don't ever come back here!"
Jan 13

One Man Nation By Eric Larson

This rap was written and performed by Erik Larson at the January 8th, 2016 Open Mic in Burlington, VT. 

This is my time here the bells chime,
on every word and rhyme,
but still i can't rap
my voice sounds like crap
I'm quiet but I rap with voice of riot,
but still i'm frozen on stage
i will look back at it filled with rage,
time let the beast out the cage
music is magic i must be a mage
but still in this story i cant turn the page
stuck here, some control this world like a puppeteer
but i can say i tried it's not the day
my music died some people but their way
to the top
but then they drop
i will work my way there
maybe a rapping kid is something that's rare
but i have nothing to lose
i won't do this for the money fame or the views
just one kid with a dream
i don't just make raps per diem
one every two weeks
i don't have any good techniques
Jan 06

YWP Newsletter #3 (January 2016)