Saturday, August 30, 2008

We are off to a great poetic start!

We got the news yesterday that Ja'Nekia, a poetry student at the OUR Center, and Pedro Mendendez tenth grader, placed third in the Florida Heritage Book Festival! Her award-winning poem, "My Soul" was written in Liz Robbins' spring workshop. We're so proud of you, Ja'Nekia.

We played a little trick on her by phoning her from the Center and asking, "Hey, where are you? Anywhere near the Center? Can you come over here? We have a surprise for you." Of course, she had no idea what was going on. She joked that she thought she was in trouble. Here she is reading the letter. She'll be treated to lunch at the Casa Monica on Sept. 13. She will also receive an award. You better believe Liz and I will be there to document the event.

Here is her winning poem:

My Soul

My soul is free-spirited:
yellow, friendly and full of cheer.
My soul is soft on one half
and rough on the other:
Downey fabric softener on one,
and plywood on the other.
My soul sounds like the whispering
waves of the ocean crashing
against the sandy shore.
The taste of my soul is like hot
wings dipped in cool Ranch,
spicy with a nice, cold
assistant: sometimes I get to my
boiling point, but just need
a cool breeze to cool me off.
My soul has the scent
of a bittersweet orange or a
Sour Patch kid, perhaps.
Sour on the first few encounters.
then sweet the next couple.
No one could ever take
my soul away. My soul is as strong
as the Man's arms Upstairs.
And no one could ever overpower
or uphold my soul like I do
today. I need it like the heart
needs and aorta and veins to keep
the body going. Without my soul,
I am incomplete.
Sometimes, I'm half empty.
Or am I really half full?

Wow, is it going to be a great year. We're adding k-2 to the mix this year, are releasing a collection of poems from the 2007-2008 year and will hold a big reading and book signing. We're also hoping to create T-shirts with lines from our poems. We'll also continue our teen workshops and trips to readings in St. Augustine sponsored by Flagler College's Writer-in-Residence program. Stay tuned for new poems from the younger kids next week. And, Janeisha, a brand new fourth grader, has been busy. She wrote thirty new poems this summer. We'll post some of those soon.

1 comment:

The journey of a cowgirl said...

As I read the latest blog...I got tears in my eyes. I love that brought vivid images to my mind. i love it.

i would like a copy of the book with all the poems...maybe a few but I don't live in the area...would I be able to get some through the mail?

Suzanne Knapp