Welcome to the National Student Poets Program

hojae's reminds me of that my mind says always changing the world around me is changing I love how poetry has that kind of like telepathic power that it can simply burrow into you and just keep surfacing up again and again it really is storytelling and it really is an opportunity to be a young person to be a young black woman and really have my stories come from my voice and come from my own body there is something about poetry there is so intimate you can be even more yourself get to know yourself even better on the earth parts of yourself that you didn't know exist just because that is what the poem is asking you to do well these days I think poetry in the schools is a very respectable respected and legitimate thing to do and my day was not a way to get popular really was a way to get likes left around the parking lot growing up at least for me poetry was always a very isolated thing like I never really shared it with anybody or talked about it so like I never got any affirmation that like what I was doing was good or like that I should keep doing it I just liked it so that's why I kept going it's strange coming from Chicago and being a chicago poet it's way different there since the poetry scene is centered around youth and is centered around competitive slam poetry and there are so many resources so many opportunities for us young people to be engaged as a Chicago like being a poet is super cool if you paid attention to poetry recently you know that there's a lot of very readable poetry out there tons of it I think hip hop perhaps the popularity of Hamilton they're all bringing poetry the returning poetry to the year and so on and that was that's really the historic origins of poetry thank you think that poet read actually the most accessible of art forms because the tools of poetry are the everyday you have to savor poetry have to live in it you also kind of put on a poet shoes and walk around and I think that would make people less afraid of poetry when you strip it to its barest elements a simile a metaphor the language we use every day words I'm using right now it's just asking you to be present it's asking you to try to communicate with yourself and with the world around you it's asking you to be an active participant in in your life I think the importance of the Arts is that they make students connect with their interior lives and they give young people a way of externalizing what is within them I mean they're full of thoughts and feelings and turmoil and emotions and as we all are but especially and in adolescence these this activity is really revved up to the most intolerable degree and dance poetry painting whatever it is it gives away it gives a way of a legitimate way so young people get in touch with their interior lives as they all are I think the National Student Code program is classic are in writing awards are the prime example of showing how to engage with the public intuitive like this idea that poetry is inaccessible to people and like everything that's happened within the past two years has really like reaffirmed my belief in that if I like something or like if I love doing something I should like always keep doing it no matter what I think the awards are a good way of giving children a space to say here you can create there's no censorship here it's just a way of saying art matters here's an entire system entire structure built around creativity and I think a little competition of healthy because it's kind of a nudge to take risks and to try your best and it's a way of saying sure this might not be the only thing you do but it's an important aspect of yourself and your identity the student needs to be given an atmosphere and a environment where that kind of expression that kind of externalization of what's inside you is legitimate and honored and people even applaud you're on stage and people are standing up and applauding and then you really feel good I think that programs like this are so important because they're really asking you to hone in on the kind of world that you want to make and in encouraging you to write these things down maybe it's a rehearsal for making the world the place that you want to live in when I write a poem I can write the exact world that I want to live in the exact person that I want to be the exact community that should exist and hopefully will exist and so when you speak these things and you write these things and you create these things even hypothetically that create that like plant the seed of like no this is the possibility this is something that can be achieved

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