Paint Me Like I Am: Teen Poems from WritersCorps

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9780064472647: Paint Me Like I Am: Teen Poems from WritersCorps
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Today my name is colorful.
Yesterday my name was dead souls.
Tomorrow my name will be lively spirits.
My friends think my name is fire.
The police think my name is burden.
My parents think my name is symphony.
Secretly I know my name is anything I want it to be.

Paint Me Like I Am is a collection of poems by teens who have taken part in writing programs run by a national nonprofit organization called WritersCorps. To read the words of these young people is to hear the diverse voices of teenagers everywhere.

Included are a foreward by acclaimed poet Nikki Giovanni, an essay from Kevin Powell, another poet associated with WritersCorps, and writing tips from WritersCorps instructors.

WritersCorps was started in 1994 to help at-risk youth in three American urban centers: San Francisco, Washington, DC, and New York City (the Bronx). Thousands of children and teenagers have since benefited from finding creative expression through writing.

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About the Author:

WritersCorps was started in 1994 to help at-risk youth in three urban centers: San Francisco, Washington, DC, and New York City (the Bronx). Thousands of children and teenagers have since benefited from finding creative expression through writing.

From School Library Journal:

Grade 7 Up-WritersCorps works with disadvantaged youth, encouraging teens to express themselves through writing and recording voices that might otherwise not be heard. The young people have a lot to say about race, drugs, abuse, and self-image, as seen in these honest and sometimes raw poems. There are some good metaphors here ("Bodies sprawled along the shelter's floor-,/like sloppy cursive writing-" "I'm a sleepy flower,/and the ground waves at me"). "Alone in a darkness that laughs in your face," one poem notes. All the contributors are intensely aware of "self." One girl writes, "When I feel like I'm going to fall apart,/I hold my ribs, all the way around-/I hold brightness and shadows in/the hollow where my ribs meet-/I hold my ribs, until I feel solid." As in any anthology, there are some literary jewels and some less-poetic but more openly honest rants. There is much to learn from these young people.
Sharon Korbeck, Waupaca Area Public Library, WI
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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