Lily Pads

Posted April 4, 2012 & filed under Poem of the Day.


I like the lily pads that float on the pond

Green with a touch of pizzazz

The lily pad is the only one who has a heart

It spreads its magical beauty with its pinky petals

They come in all shapes and sizes

One is purple, a small sliver like a broken heart

It is a beautiful thing to look at in winter

by Alvara, 4th grade

Click the link (above) to listen to the poem read on KPFT radio by Jennvie Bui, a 2nd grader from Parker Elementary.


This poem is featured as part of the 2012 A Poem A Day campaign, a National Poetry Month celebration by Writers in the Schools (WITS) that features a different poem by a WITS student every day during April. Click here to learn more.

The Silent World

Posted April 3, 2012 & filed under Poem of the Day.

(inspired by a poem by Jeffrey McDaniel)

The government has decided

to only allow us 167 words per day.

Nobody hears me.

The only one who hears me is my Grandma

because it’s silent, and she’s the one who sits with me.

And at school there is touching but not talking,

just making hand signals.

I feel like I’m not on the planet.

And when I get home nobody is talking.

I want to save my words for my Grandma

because she is so sweet.

I would like to tell her, “I love you.

You are my soul. You are my sky.”

By Natalia, 3rd grade

Click the link (above) to listen to the poem read on KPFT radio by Marin Hart, a 4th grader from Parker Elementary.


This poem is featured as part of the 2012 A Poem A Day campaign, a National Poetry Month celebration by Writers in the Schools (WITS) that features a different poem by a WITS student every day during April. Click here to learn more.

Public Poetry Readings

Posted March 30, 2012 & filed under Notebook.

Writers in the Schools (WITS) loves Public Poetry, and we know you do too!  Please read the latest from our friends at Public Poetry. Go to the readings and hear WITS students read their work alongside accomplished poets.  Read the invitation below and mark your calendars:

We’re celebrating our 1st anniversary and National Poetry month in a big way with two events in the month of April. Look for poets downtown at the newly restored Julia Ideson Building, across from Central Branch Library, onSaturday, April 7, at 2 PM, and more poets again at The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston’s Brown Auditorium two weeks later, on Saturday, April 21, at 3 PM.

We’re delighted to confirm that Houston Mayor, Annise Parker, will be joining us as the special guest of honor for the Public Poetry library reading series. Last year, our Poet Mayor read one of her own compositions and also selected My Parents Watch the July Fourth Parade by Richard Beban. We’re eagerly anticipating her additions to the April 7 program, where featured poets –Mike Alexander, Janet Lowery, Jeremyah Payne/The Fluent One and Claire Kageyama-Ramakrishnan – will be reading. Noted architectural historian, Stephen Fox, will also be speaking briefly about this special library building.

Since Fall 2011, we’ve been telling you about the ARTlines ekphrastic poetry competition in collaboration with The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.  On April 21, we reveal the winning poems at a special museum event.  There will also be contributions from the jurors – three Texas Poets Laureate among them –docent led tours and a museum reception.  And, poetry will continue to have a presence at the MFAH on their web site, on wall labels and as a cell phone audio stop.   See ARTlines tab (next to Community Links) for additional details.

The public is welcome at both events.  The library event is free, and the museum program is free with general museum admission.

See you there!

PBS Kids GO! Writing Contest

Posted February 3, 2012 & filed under Notebook.

HoustonPBS presents: PBS Kids Go! Writers Contest
Here is an announcement from our friends at HoustonPBS about the 2012 PBS KIDS GO! Writers Contest:

Calling Kindergarten, 1st, 2nd and 3rd Grade Authors and Artists to enter the 2012 PBS KIDS GO! Writing Contest!

Children write and illustrate their own stories and enter for a chance to win great prizes at both the local and national level.

Entry deadline is Monday, March 19, 2012.

For Official Entry Form and Rules click on the link below or pick up a copy from the children’s librarian at your local public library.

Every child who enters will receive a certificate of achievement and 1st Place winners for each grade will represent HoustonPBS in the national contest.  Have fun writing and illustrating!

2012 Entry Form | 2012 Rules

The Patricia Grodd Poetry Prize for Young Writers

Posted November 11, 2011 & filed under Notebook.

The Patricia Grodd Poetry Prize for Young Writers

The Patricia Grodd Poetry Prize for Young Writers recognizes outstanding young poets and is open to high school sophomores and juniors throughout the world. The contest winner receives a full scholarship to the Kenyon Review Young Writers workshop. In addition, the winning poem will be published in The Kenyon Review. The runners up will also see their poems published. 

The contest is named in honor of Patricia Grodd in recognition of her generous support of The Kenyon Review and its programs, as well as her passionate commitment to education and deep love for poetry.

The final judge of the contest is KR poetry editor David Baker.

Submissions will be accepted electronically November 1 through November 30, 2011. The link to the submissions page for the contest will be active from this webpage on November 1, 2011.

Check out the guidelines and ubmit your work to the Patricia Grodd Poetry Contest by visiting the website.

Dear Ocean

Posted October 26, 2011 & filed under Notebook.

Inspired by Charles Simic’s poem “Stone”

I want to go inside you,

Where I’d see dolphins and

Hear a whispering sound

Let someone else become

A rock or a mountain

I’m happy to be an ocean like you.

Inside you are colorful

Clownfish and jellyfish

Blue waves crashing

Deep down you are dark

And cold like taiga

I wonder how you feel

And what secrets you hide

By Yesenia, age 15

Public Poetry at Discovery Green, Saturday at 2 pm

Posted September 30, 2011 & filed under Notebook.

Public Poetry — which was just named the best reading series in Houston by the Houston Press– offers up its next event on Saturday, October 1, 2011 at 2 pm at Discovery Green park in downtown Houston. To kick off the event, there will be a performance by The Mighty Orq. The featured poets will be Rich Levy, Martha Serpas, Eva Skrande, and Deborah “DEEP” Wiggins Mouton. WITS Third grader Helena de la Cruz will join the group. The reading is provided in partnership with the Houston Public Library. It is a free event, and the public is welcome.

WITS Supports Public Poetry!

Posted September 1, 2011 & filed under Notebook.

Poetry is alive and well in Houston! Public Poetry, a nonprofit organization founded to bring poets and the general community together and to create a buzz about poetry, is ready to celebrate again.

Join in the fun at Kendall Neighborhood Library (609 N. Eldridge, 77079) on Saturday, September 3rd, at 2 PM.

This month’s featured poets include Hayan Charara, Marcell Murphy, longtime WITS supporter Susan Wood, and WITS writer Ryler Dustin. KUHF‘s St. John Flynn will make a guest appearance, and student poet, Lucie Gulick, from WITS will perform!

After the reading, we’ll head over to Beans Café Coffeehouse for some good conversation.  Directions: Turn right out of the library parking lot, and then take 1st left just after the first traffic light (1127 Eldridge Parkway).

Mention PUBLIC POETRY and get a 10% discount on any coffee drink. Original photos from Katya Horner will be on display. Enjoy a great hour of on September 3rd, 2 PM, Kendall Neighborhood Library.

Rusty Dreams

Posted August 9, 2011 & filed under Notebook.

As teachers, many of us must spend time teaching the personal narrative in preparation for state testing exams.  We concentrate on organization, clarity, word choice, grammar, and other writing “essentials.”  The child’s real story, though, sometimes gets lost.  As I prepare to return to the classroom (and all of those What I Did This Summer essays), I want to make sure I inspire children to express the deep feelings they have about an event before they try to organize and revise their thoughts into the perfect essay.

One way that I’ve accomplished this in the past is through poetry.  Poetry can help children get at their core feelings about an event.  Sergio, for example, is a smart, quiet student who has been dealing with family changes ever since we met.  He wanted to write an essay about living without his older brother, who has been serving in Afghanistan for two years.  Sergio really misses him and wants him to come home.  I thought Sergio’s idea for his essay sounded important and meaningful.

Before Sergio started to write, I gave him Langston Hughes’ poem about deferred dreams and asked Sergio to think about his dream for his brother to return home safely.   How would he describe that dream?  What does it feel like to wait for him?  Below is the Langston Hughes poem and Sergio’s imitation, which talks about what it’s like to carry around the weight of a “rusty dream.”

What Happens to a Dream Deferred?

What happens to a dream deferred?

Does it dry up

Like a raisin in the sun?

Or fester like a sore—

And then run?

Does it stink like rotten meat?

Or crust over and sugar over—

Like a syrupy sweet?

Maybe it just sags

Like a heavy load.

Or does it explode?

by Langston Hughes

What Happens When a Dream Rusts?

Does the dream rust until it falls

like a man’s heart when it’s broken?

Does it stink like a spoiled egg?

Is it crushed with a lie?

Is the dream like a sharp nail

being pinned to the wall?

Does it fall into the fire

and explode like popcorn?

Or does a rusty dream lay

down, ice-cold like the fallen

brother of a marine.

by Sergio, 4th grade

Thank you, Sergio, for reminding us that the personal stories we tell can be powerful and beautiful.  Thank you for showing us that poetry can put us in touch with our deepest feelings and lay the groundwork for more writing.

By Marcia Chamberlain, Writers in the Schools

Public Poetry Summer Series This Saturday

Posted August 4, 2011 & filed under Notebook.

Public Poetry and the Houston Public Library present another series of excellent readings by Houston’s finest. The program includes photography by Katya Horner and selected works from Joseph Campana, Jeannie Gambill, Van Garrett, a resident writer of WITS, Destiny Gonzalez, a current WITS student, and former WITS writers Alan Ainsworth and Sarah Cortez.

What: Pubic Poetry and HPL Present a Summer Reading Series

Where: Houston Public Library, Kendall Neighborhood Library

When: Saturday, August 6, 2011 at 2 PM

Cost: Free and open to the public.

For more information visit

Calling All FROG Poets!

Posted June 28, 2011 & filed under Notebook.

SAVE THE FROGS is accepting submissions for its annual frog poetry contest.  To read winners from the past two years, visit the website.

For inspiration, they provide a haiku written in the 17th century by Basho about frogs and then invite YOU to write one for the 21st century.

The following is straight from their website:

How do I write a Frog Poem?

We welcome any poems that mention frogs, salamanders, newts, toads, caecilians, amphibians,, and/or SAVE THE FROGS!

Here are some ideas for your frog poems:

(1) Find out about a particular kind of frog and describe the world from that frog’s point of view.

(2) What if you found the last frogs alive on the planet … What would you do? How would you feel?

(3) Write a poem that makes the reader understand the importance of saving frogs, or one that makes them realize the danger frogs are in.

(4) Write a poem about any of the threats to frogs.

(5) Write a poem about how ridiculously cool frogs are!

(6) Imagine all kinds of brave, extravagant and daring ways in which you could save the frogs. Check out our How to Help page.


Did we mention that there will be prizes? Aside from fame and the admiration of your peers, the Grand Prize Winner and Honorable Mentions may all see their poems featured in a book of Frog Poetry we will produce. Contest winners will also be acknowledged on this website, alongside a copy of their poem. And to top it off:

The Grand Prize Winner will:

(1) Receive $100 CASH (or check!).

(2) Receive $50 worth of “Frog Cash” to be used for any of the cool, environmentally-friendly merchandise in the SAVE THE FROGS! Gift Center.

(3) Become an official judge of next year’s SAVE THE FROGS! Poetry Contest.

(4) Receive frog fame.

Category Winners will:

(1) Win $50 CASH (or check!).

(2) Receive $30 worth of “Frog Cash” to be used for any of the cool, environmentally-friendly merchandise in the SAVE THE FROGS! Gift Center.


Category winners will be chosen from the following categories. Note however that the Grand Prize Winner may be chosen from any category.

(1) 18+ years of age

(2) 13-17 years old

(3) Under 13 age group

Contest Rules

(1) Submitted poetry must be your original creation!

(2) Be sure to mention at least one of the following: frogs, salamanders, newts, toads, caecilians, amphibians,, and/or SAVE THE FROGS!

(3) You may submit up to two poems. Please always give us the title of each poem. Please do NOT name your poems “Save The Frogs”.

(4) Submission of poetry constitutes your agreement to the Poetry Contest Terms & Conditions. Please read these over, as they describe your rights to the submitted poetry as well as ours.

(5) All entries are to be submitted no later than 11:59pm U.S. Eastern Time on October 15th, 2011. Email submissions must be RECEIVED by October 15th, 2011. Mail-in entries must be POSTMARKED by October 15th, 2011.

Free Creative Writing Workshop This Saturday

Posted June 7, 2011 & filed under Notebook.

This weekend a free writing workshop will be held at HCC, and former WITS luminaries Victoria Jones, Randy Watson, and Tony Diaz will be leading sessions. Here’s the scoop:

The Johnny Harris Writers Group Writing Workshop
What: Fiction and Poetry workshops
Where: HCC Central Campus (rooms TBA)
When: Saturday, June 11, 2011, from 8 am – 4 pm
Costs: Free and open to the public. Limited space; instructors will add seats if necessary.
Additional info: Later at 7 pm, join workshop leaders for a reading at Foelber Pottery Studio, 706 Richmond Ave., 4 blocks east of Montrose.

Contact: Sharon Klander at [email protected]

Writing bug bitten you yet? The Johnny Harris Writers Group hosts a free writing workshop in fiction and poetry this Saturday from 8 am to 4 pm at the HCC Central Campus. Spaces are limited for both workshops, and participants should email their manuscripts to Sharon Klander at [email protected] by Thursday, June 9th, following these guidelines:

  • no more than 5 pages of poetry, single spaced
  • no more than 10 pages of fiction, double-spaced
  • ALL manuscripts should have the following header on the title page: name and address in upper left corner, phone and email in upper right corner. Subsequent pages should bear the usual MS header.

A Snapshot of the Schedule:

8 – 9 am: Breakfast (provided)
9 – 10: Keynote Address by Selena Villareal, “Poets Writing in Oppressive Regimes”
10 – 12: Fiction workshop with Cliff Hudder* OR Q&A session with Victoria Jones RE: Life After an MFA
12 – 2: Lunch (provided); Tony Diaz will read from his book Children of the Locust Tree during this time
2 – 4: Poetry workshops with Dave Parsons and Randy Watson* OR Lecture with SueAnna Davis, “Who’s the Hero, and How Do We Know?”

Farewell, Poetry Month 2011

Posted May 4, 2011 & filed under Notebook.


Thank you for participating in A Poem A Day with Writers in the Schools (WITS). We hope that you have enjoyed reading these poems by WITS students during April, National Poetry Month. If you enjoyed this project, here are some options for staying in the WITS “loop” throughout the year:

Thank you for participating in A Poem a Day with the Writers in the Schools (WITS). We hope that you have enjoyed reading these poems by WITS students during National Poetry Month. If you enjoyed this project, here are some options for staying the the WITS “loop”:
Please leave comments on your favorite poems on the WITS blog. The students will really appreciate your positive feedback.
Add the WITS blog to your bookmarks or feed reader.
Send a kid to summer camp.
If you live anywhere else, look up a similar program in your area.
If you’d like to make a donation to keep the Writers in the Schools programs growing and reaching as many Houston-area youth as possible, please click here.
We would like to thank the Houston Arts Alliance, the City of Houston, the Houston Chronicle, the Houston Public Library, and the Texas Commission on the Arts for sponsoring A Poem A Day 2008.
Thank you for celebrating National Poetry Month with WITS. Stay tuned to this blog for more writing from WITS students, writers, and staff.Thank you for participating in A Poem a Day with the Writers in the Schools (WITS). We hope that you have enjoyed reading these poems by WITS students during National Poetry Month. If you enjoyed this project, here are some options for staying the the WITS “loop”
  • Please leave comments on your favorite poems on the WITS blog. The students will really appreciate your positive feedback.
  • Add the WITS blog to your bookmarks or feed reader.
  • Become a fan of WITS on facebook.
  • Send your child to our creative writing summer camp.
  • If you’d like to make a donation to keep the Writers in the Schools programs growing and reaching as many Houston-area youth as possible, please click here.
We would like to thank the Houston Arts Alliance, the City of Houston, the Houston Public Library, and the Texas Commission on the Arts, for sponsoring A Poem A Day 2011.
A very special thanks goes to the staff at KPFT  90.1 FM, Sharpstown High School Principal Robert Gasparello, his students, their teachers, and producer Susan Phillips for featuring the poems on the radio each weekday, a few of which you can hear by clicking the following links:

The rockin’ readers were:

Jerrell Hill, 10th grade
Princillar Agyapong, 12th grade
Gloria Johnson, 12th grade
Kori Walker, 11th grade
Joseph Butler, 12th grade
Alyssa Arteaga, 12th grade
Jonas Aguero, 12th grade
Ana Sanchez, 12th grade
Aryani Peres, 11th grade
Hazel Kate Camat, 12th grade
Torrin Guillory, 9th grade
Jorge Aguero, 12th grade
Darnell Anderson, 11th grade
Jaron Barnes, 12th grade
Ronny Ellison, 11th grade
Demetrick Miller, 12th grade
Starlesha Basha, 11th grade
Concepcion Cisneros, 12th grade
Keidra Gartica, 12th grade
Kalari Faultry, 12th grade
Juana Rodriguez, 11th grade
Deondra Walters, 10th grade

Visit this blog year-round for more writing from WITS students, writers, and staff. Remember, every month is poetry month on the WITS blog. Get your daily poem and be reminded of the finer things in life.

I Am a Poet

Posted January 10, 2011 & filed under Notebook.

I am a poet.

I am a metaphor that makes you think.

I am a rhyme.

I am the romantic feelings that make poems divine.

I am love.

I am the golden harp.

I am the veins that push the beautiful words to my poem heart.

I am Parris, the poet.

I am Poetry.

I write poems with life and make you happier.

I am poetry.

I bring feelings to light with love and laughter.

I am a poet.

By Parris, 16

Photo by harold.lloyd via Flickr

Writing Contest for Kids: Where I’m From

Posted September 24, 2010 & filed under Notebook.

What Kids Can Do (WKCD) announces a new writing contest, “Where I am From” open to kids across the country. Read their contest guidelines below and submit your entry before October 31, 2010.

Who can enter
Young people in grades 6 to 12, anywhere in the United States.

Your entry may take the form of either a poem or an essay (no longer than 400 words).

Before you write, we suggest that you read the poem “Where I’m From,” by George Ella Lyon (see below). What about this poem gives you the strongest feelings? Is there anything you can relate to in it? How do you think the author feels about where she is from?

Next, write your own “Where I’m From” poem. Rather than copying the order and form of Lyon’s poem, follow your own intuition in writing about the smells, sights, sounds, voices, people, and place you are from. Or, if poetry is not your thing, bring your life to light in an essay.

Finally, read your poem or essay aloud, to yourself or to others. What do you like best about it? What do you want to change about it? Revise your writing until it sounds true to your very own heart and voice.

To submit your entry
Email your work (as an attachment) to: [email protected]. Please include your name, age, the school you attend, and the city/town and state where you live.

October 31, 2010 (yes, Halloween)

Prize Winners

We’ll announce the winning entries on our website on November 15, 2010. Winners will receive $100 Amazon gift certificates and be published on the WKCD website – it’s a great place to take a bow!

Subscribe or bookmark A Poem a Day to find out about great writing contests for kids.

Outside Writing is Better

Posted September 21, 2010 & filed under Notebook.

Out here is better than the classroom

The wind can blow sunshine on our faces as we write

We can see the clouds puff up white like cotton

and float away somewhere or into nothing,

The sky looks bluer out here . . . I can hear the speeding cars passing

A red Ford truck sounds like it’s broken

Everly lets go of his paper to make us laugh

We are exploring poetry

Out here is better than the classroom

We can walk out of line and talk out of turn

question without raising our hands

answer out loud

“Rhyme is only important sometimes,” says Mr. Al

Mrs. Smith gives us more ideas

We can see the far-off flowers

the houses two blocks away, the smooth metal monkey bars, and the

orange motorcycle on a flat.

The time goes by fast

I would like to take off my shoes and play freeze tag by the swings

Out here is better than the classroom

I can think better

Close walls are not all around us

I don’t feel short or small

The tall trees are so quiet, I want to climb to the very top

Here comes Lee, I wonder what he wants

I found a good luck penny on the sidewalk

Two boys run past the basketball goals and bump into each other

The ball bounces the other way

I hope we can go hunting for poetry again

Out here is better than the classroom.

By Kiera, 4th Grade

Nature Writing Contest for Kids

Posted September 20, 2010 & filed under Notebook.

Cover of "River of Words: Young Poets and...

Cover via Amazon

2010 River of Words Watershed Art & Poetry Contest

Deadline: December 1, 2010

Each year, in affiliation with The Library of Congress Center for the Book, River of Words conducts a free international poetry and art contest for youth on the theme of WATERSHEDS. The contest is designed to help youth explore the natural and cultural history of the place they live, and to express, through poetry and art, what they discover.

The contest is open to any child in the world, from 5-19 years of age. Older students must have not yet completed high school. There is no charge to enter. (See entry form.)

Students may enter on their own, or as part of a group (classroom, Girl Scout troop, 4-H, etc.). All entrants are receive acknowledgment in the form of a “Watershed Explorer” certificate. (See complete rules.)

Poetry submissions are judged by River of Words co-founders Robert Hass, who served as US Poet Laureate from 1995-1997, and writer Pamela Michael. Art entries are judged by children’s book writer and illustrator, Thacher Hurd.

About 100 poems and artworks from both US and international entries are selected as finalists each year. All winners receive ribbons, books and/or art supplies, t-shirts and other prizes.

Eight Grand Prize winners—four in poetry and four in art, in four different age categories—are chosen from the US entries.

Category I — Kindergarten-Grade 2

Category II — Grades 3-6

Category III — Grades 7-9

Category IV — Grades 10-12

We also award an International Prize each year to a student from outside the United States. The International Prize may be awarded for either poetry or art.

In addition, RoW and The Library of Congress Center for the Book honor two students who live in our respective watersheds: River of Words´ Shasta Bioregion Prize and The Library of Congress´ Anacostia Watershed Prize. The winning works may be either poetry or art.

Winners are announced each April at a gala event at the San Francisco Library. The Grand Prize and International winners win an all-expense paid trip to Washington, DC to attend the RoW Award Ceremony at The Library of Congress.

For more information click here.

Student Writing Contest: Poems for Peace

Posted September 1, 2010 & filed under Notebook.

In honor of Conflict Resolution Day, the  Association of Conflict Resolution is sponsoring the following opportunity:

Peace Poem Contest Rules

1. Eligibility. The contest is open to all students in grades 3 – 12.
2. Submission Period. Entries will be accepted between September 1, 2010 and November 1, 2010,11:59 PM Eastern (10:59 PM Central; 9:59 PM Mountain; 8:59 PM Pacific; 5:59 PM Hawaii).
3. To Enter. Write a poem that describes “Peace in My Community”. Please write a title for your poem. Limit your poem to 20 lines. Poems must be in English. Limit: 1 poem per student, 20 per school. Please do not put your name or school on the poem (for fairness in judging).
4. Prizes. Prizes will be awarded in three categories: Grades 3-5; 6-8; and 9-12. First Place: $100. Second Place: $75. (prizes are in U.S. dollars)
5. Announcement of Winners. Winners will be contacted by December 1, 2010.
6. Sponsor. The Association for Conflict Resolution (ACR) is a professional organization dedicated to enhancing the practice and public understanding of conflict resolution. This contest is being sponsored as an activity for ACR’s Conflict Resolution Day. For information about ACR and Conflict Resolution Day, click here.
7. General Conditions.
Poems will not be returned. Entrants should keep a copy of their submissions.
Association for Conflict Resolution assumes no responsibility for entries that are lost, incomplete, misdirected, illegible, or late, or for failed computer transmissions or technical failures.
Association for Conflict Resolution reserves the right, in its discretion, to reject entries that it believes are unlawful, libelous, or would be detrimental to the reputation of Conflict Resolution Day or the Association for Conflict Resolution.
Poems with profanity, obscenity, vulgarity, or anything else which overrides the general norms of civility will not be eligible for prizes.
Entry must comply with all contest rules to be eligible for a prize. The Association for Conflict Resolution reserves the right not to award any prizes.
Selected entries (including those that were not awarded prizes) may be displayed at the ACR National Conference and may be compiled in a poetry book or other form (including electronically) as may be determined by the Association for Conflict Resolution.
Winning students will have the opportunity to submit a digital tape recording of their poem, which the Association for Conflict Resolution may link to its website.
Winners will be selected by a panel of judges named by the Association for Conflict Resolution. The judges will evaluate the entries using the following criteria: exploration of theme, impact on reader, originality, literacy, message. Judges’ decisions are final.

WITS Board President Publishes New Book

Posted November 23, 2009 & filed under Notebook.

Robin Davidson is a busy person.  Not only is she a full time professor of English at University of Houston Downtown, she’s also the president of the board of directors at Writers in the Schools.  And if that wasn’t enough, she just had her first book published by Northwestern University Press.

The book, The New Century: Poems by Ewa Lipska, is a collection of poems by a post-World War II era poet from Poland.  Ewa Lipska is regarded as one of the most important poets of her day but until now her work has not been translated widely.  The New Century is the first collection of Lipska’s poems to appear in English.   Robin Davidson co-translated the poems with Ewa Elzbieta Nowakowska and authored the foreword.


Posted April 28, 2008 & filed under Poem of the Day.


When I get mad I think darkly.
Flames coming out of men.
Black, heartless, nothingness, twisters.
I feel like throwing the world into a trash can.
One man crashing everything in sight.
The black rose.
A black casket.
A cow producing black milk.
The sun falling out of the sky and the moon never coming up.
Black graffiti on every man’s heart.
The blind being able to see,
Those with sight becoming blind.

By Jaylon, age 13

(photo by FDB Graphics via flickr)