Two parents, two kids: the average, American family.
Grandma has a stroke and moves in.
Dad gets fed up and moves out.
Mom meets Rick, a systems analyst for a large corporation.
Dad meets Candy, the lingerie model with the large…never mind.
Grandma meets Abe. He likes to soak his teeth in your science project.
Rick is average too. Randy and Jack move in.
Candy (who’s above average—wink, wink) has five kids with Dad.
Tootsie, Hershey, Sweetie, and the twins, Mark and Mindy, M & M.
The average, American family:
Approximately two parents, two kids, two stepparents, two step siblings,
Two and a half whole siblings, a grandma, and Abe,
Who likes to soak his teeth in your science project.
by Scott, 10th Grade
When I write,
I use my heart.
I listen to my soul-mind.
When I use my hands,
I smell your pencil.
When I touch the tip of the pencil,
I write words.
I imagine things I want to do.
I can write a story.
I listen to myself.
I feel free.
by Nathan, 3rd Grade
Helms Community Learning Center
What is the Nancy Thorp Poetry Contest?
Since 1962, this contest has been sponsored by Hollins University and awards prizes for the best poems submitted by girls who are sophomores or juniors in high school or preparatory school.
What are the prizes?
First place (one winner)
$200 cash prize
Free tuition for the two-week creative writing class in the university’s Hollins summer program
Publication in Cargoes, the Hollins’ student literary magazine
Ten copies of Cargoes
Second place (six winners)
$25 cash prize
Publication in Cargoes
Two copies of Cargoes
What are the requirements?
All entries must be typewritten and be submitted by a member of the faculty or administration of the student’s school. No more than two poems by any one student may be submitted, and manuscripts cannot be returned. Each entry must be on a separate sheet and each sheet must include the following information in the upper right corner:
–Author’s name and gender
–Author’s mailing address
–Author’s phone no. and/or e-mail address
–Year of author’s high school graduation
–Faculty sponsor’s name and e-mail address
–Address and phone no. of author’s school
If the poem is more than one page in length, label each page with author’s name, title of poem, and page number.
What is the deadline for entries?
November 15, 2007
Who chooses the winning poems?
Winners are chosen by students and faculty members in the creative writing program at Hollins.
When are winners notified?
By mid April, 2008
Where should entries be mailed?
Nancy Thorp Poetry Contest
P.O. Box 9677
Roanoke, VA 24020-1677
I am little.
When I die
I will come
Back like that!
My mouth is like
I can fly up
I have less
My ears can hear
Around the world.
Most strongest of
Even if I’m small, I can
Carry 100 trees.
Even if I
Look mean, I’m nice.
Am a Dragon.
My name is
I can turn into
by Kenya, 3rd grade
It is a royal palace with stone
walls hiding such admirable
beauty, you could watch it all day long.
It is a horrible fire that absolutely
no one could put out.
It is the agitated wasp stinging
all the furry little animals in the forest.
It is the little mice playing around
in the great big field.
by Ivy, 3rd grade
Going down the trumpet vines
Swirling, music whirling in
My ears like a butterfly flying
Through soft melodies, soaring
In the skies from violins, sweet
String and a playful dog
Jumping happily away.
by Isabelle, 3rd grade
The 2007 Writers in the Schools Young Writers Reading will be televised by Houston MediaSource next week. The program will air at the following times on Comcast 17, TV Max 95, and Kingwood 98:
Thursday, August 23, 2007 at 4:30 PM
Saturday, August 25, 2007 at 2:00 PM
Thursday, August 30, 2007 at 4:30 PM
Saturday, September 1, 2007 at 12:30 PM
For a list of the students who were chosen to perform at these events held in May at The Menil Collection, click here and here.
My dog is cool to have for a pet.
by Crystal, Boys & Girls Country
Dogs come in many sizes.
They are big and small.
I like to have a big dog.
My dog is brown, and her eyes are baby blue
I will remember when my dog was small.
Now she is big and strong,
and she’s older too.
I think she’s 21 years old.
My dog is a faithful friend.
Me and my boys
in the hood
seen the haters
seen the colors of the rags
heard the buck shots
ran like fire ants
My boys buck back
Lil Frank was gone
by Frank, 9th grade
Note: This poem was written by a student in a juvenile probation facility. Writers in the Schools (WITS) offers programs to young people in detention centers, boot camps, and rehabilitation programs. Writing, and creative expression in general, can offer these kids a chance to “have their say,” and they often have a great deal to say.
It’s tough being a kid now days. For example,
being in fourth grade is more than enough to say.
It’s like being in a masquerade.
Taking tests almost every hour of the day. When
I take tests I develop some special kind of power.
Even though my brother torments me day and night
while I’m trying to study.
It’s tough being a kid now days.
Stacey, 4th grade
I wish I could take a
fluffy cloud home
and feel the softness.
I wish I could take
a cloud home and bounce
on it like a trampoline.
I wish I could go home,
lie on my bed, and
use a white fluffy
cloud as a pillow.
I wish I could keep
a cloud forever.
by Marden, 2nd grade
Can we meet at the bridge?
Will you promise to be there?
Your eyes are like diamonds
shining in the sun.
Clouds drift away, and
You rise like a flame
on the mountaintop.
I am like silver, and
you are like gold.
I am like silver, and
you are like gold.
On the mountaintop
you rise like a flame
and the raindrops stop and
clouds drift away.
You shine like the sun.
Your eyes are like diamonds.
Will you promise to be there?
Can we meet at the bridge?
by Javier, 9th grade
Sometimes you just have to change
the things of the real world
into another story. Sometimes
you have to walk back and forth
then all of a sudden you hear
the ants talking to you.
When you look at the sky
the birds ask, “How are you today?”
Since no one is the ruler
of the world, start drawing yourself
holding the earth. Draw
yourself at the top of the earth.
and seeing other planets. Look
at the mirror and see
your reflection: you will go
through the mirror
and you will be at a throne.
You will have a long beautiful red cape.
All the animals are together,
and there are stars inside.
by Amy, 6th grade
digital collage by Robin Madden
Photograph by Karen Sachar
It’s a wiki wiki world that I’m seeing these days. Wondering about my life and how it’s going to be the next day.
You think about the good and bad.
But take a look at this life of mine and all you see is bad times.
Sometimes you wonder ‘til you can’t wonder no more.
Think of happiness – and people – but think, it isn’t so.
So I wonder how light is going to shine on nothing in this life of mine.
I sit back and watch
For the light to shine.
by Andrew, UCP High School/High Tech Program
Chesney was born and raised in a family that is real hot-headed. She has two tattoos. Her mom knows about both of them. Her daddy doesn’t really know, and she’s not planning on telling him. She has a habit of shopping non-stop. She cannot make eggs for nothing. This girl is petrified of heights and bugs. She can tie a cherry with her tongue. It’s easy for her to make jewelry out of money. Her daddy used to drive trucks, and she got to see Mount Rushmore once. They also moved 20 times in 6 months. When she was born prematurely, her daddy got her this kitty cat that she still has. Chesney just started taking guitar lessons. She cannot live without her purses or Baby Phat or her cell phone. She has been collecting crystal and snow globes since her 7th birthday. Chesney’s favorite character is Winnie the Pooh, and she is addicted to shopping, money, and jewelry.
by Chesney D.
UCP High School/High Tech Program
You’ve been dreaming
for now and forever.
Endless possibilities now open,
breathing life into a
bloom of the blue…
by Hector, UCP High School/High Tech Program
Artwork also by Hector A.
Mr. Happy was born on April 1st, and everyone said he was a joyful baby who laughed a lot. His favorite food as a kid was pancakes made in the shape of smiley faces and Fruit Loops. During the day he liked to spray water on people and work on his comics and cartoons. He told jokes to whoever would listen.
When Mr. Happy got older, he moved to a house on Go Lucky Lane. Why? Because he married a woman named Ms. Down. Luckily, Mr. Happy never got depressed being around Mrs. Down. Every day he woke up in a good mood. He drove his little matchbox car to the circus where he worked as a clown. He loved hanging out with his best friend Crusty. They bounced around, laughing and making noises like, “beep, beep, vroom, vroom.” For lunch they ate loads of Laffey Taffey. Afterwards they practiced tumbling and juggling.
At home in the evening Mr. Happy always watched America’s Funniest Home Videos. Then he watched Simpsons and Family Guy. When he got tired, he usually listened to some music. His favorite song was “Joy to the World.”
–a collaborative story by Trevor, Megan, and Patricia, high school patients at TIRR
The national poetry slam comes to Austin next week. Here are the details.
DATE & TIME: Saturday, Aug. 11th, 3:15 – 4:45 pm
PLACE: Ruta Maya World Headquarters, 3601 S. Congress, Austin TX
For more information, contact the Texas Youth Word Collective.
HYPE: What do you get when you combine the Texas Youth Word Collective’s Austin Under 21 Poetry Slam with the National Poetry Slam and Austin Poetry Slam? One incredible afternoon of spoken word artistry! Come hear some of the best youth slammers from across the country compete for the title of National Youth Slam Champion!
Here’s the stage for the next generation, open to all poets under the age of 21. The slam will be hosted by Kim Holzer (Durham, NC), Saturday, August 11th, 3:15 – 4:45 p.m., Ruta Maya Int’l Headquarters, 3601 S. Congress, D-200, Austin. Free.
And be sure to check out the rest of the National Poetry Slam! A Youth Writing Workshop will take place on Friday, Aug. 10th, 2:30-4:00, at the Hideout Upstairs. The competition will involve more than 300 poets competing and reading at many of the venues that serve as home to performers during Austin’s famed SXSW Conference. This year’s NPS will draw audiences numbering in the thousands to the premier annual showcase for performance poetry. The event will culminate with the Individual Finals show on Friday, August 10, and the Team Finals show on Saturday, August 11; both events will be at Austin’s historic Paramount Theater, home to sold-out poetry competitions when Austin hosted the National Poetry Slam in 1998 and 2006. Tickets for both events, as well as passes for the entire week of competitions, readings, and late-night shows, will be available at gettix.net.
Hope is thought of as an acorn providing
food for young animals,
a reflection still showing in a broken mirror,
a weed growing in the cracks of the sidewalk,
a small rosebud on a plant,
a symbolic flag seen through the smoke of a battle field.
Hope is the glimmer in a young child’s eyes,
a light through the fog,
the raindrops on a tree leaf.
It is an egg cracking.
It is the birth of an idea
by Susanna, 9th grade, Bellaire High School