Young Writers Project

Weekly On VPR.net

VPR partners with Young Writers Project to present selections of the work of young writers, photographers and artists in Vermont.
 

Each week, VPR features a submission - an essay, poem, fiction of nonfiction - accompanied by a photo or illustration from the Young Writers Project.

The Young Writers Project provides VPR's audience another avenue to hear and read selections from Vermont's young writers. The thoughts and ideas expressed here are the writers' own and do not necessarily reflect those of Vermont Public Radio.

The collaboration is organized by Susan Reid of Young Writers Project and Vermont Public Radio.

Young Writers Project: 'Eclipsed'

Oct 14, 2017
Maisie Newbury, 16, of Weybridge writes about love lost on the day of the solar eclipse, August 21, 2017
'Soulsearch,' by Ava Kendrick/Young Writers Project Photo Library, courtesy

I spent most of today
Floating up in space,
My head in the clouds,
My heart in the air.

Lonna Neidig, 16, of St. Albans writes about the pain caused by inconsiderate, casual racist comments.
Anna Phelps, Wolcott/Young Writers Project Photo Library

I was sitting among tiny, green blades of grass,
listening to a chaotic symphony
of loudspeakers
and bubbling voices.

Young Writers Project: 'Apples'

Sep 29, 2017
Ella Staats, 17, of Burlington, says her poem, 'Apples,' is about "the things we lose as we grow up, something I've been thinking about a lot as I embark on my last year of being a child."
Grace Safford

The trees in the orchard are more ripe with children
than they are with apples.
Fragile branches expose themselves
to be limbs of limber youth,
elbows protruding like gnarls on a tree,
knees scarred like dimpled bark.

Young Writers Project: 'Seen In Roanoke'

Sep 25, 2017
Melissa Wade

Today I saw three children,
they were not much younger than I am –
sixteen, or maybe seventeen years old –
sleeping under an old concrete bridge.

Young Writers Project: 'Daydreaming'

Sep 15, 2017
Ben Stoll, 17, of Georgia, VT, writes about the power of imagination and how daydreaming can lift a person from darkness into the light.
Ben Stoll, Young Writers Project, courtesy

It's an
intrinsic disease,
they told me,
an unfortunate byproduct
of a
non-lucid mind,

Young Writers Project: 'Rainbow'

Aug 18, 2017
Isabel Blankenbaker, 14, of Rutland, writes in response to President Trump’s Twitter announcement on July 26 that transgender people would be banned from serving in the military.
YWP Photo Library, photo by Holly Margulis, South Burlington

It's happening ever so slow,
Day after day,
They're chipping at our rights,
Wearing them away.

Young Writers Project: 'Blueberry Poem'

Aug 11, 2017
Janet McIntosh Barkdoll, 17, of Shoreham wrote “Blueberry Poem” after a quintessential Vermont summer day experience. She recorded the sounds of the blueberry patch – pie tins and birds – for the final two stanzas of her piece.
Bryan Storck

Follow the shade in the morning for as long as you can,
Hopping down the row, down the hill, from bush to bush.
The way the sunlight falls through the hedgerow and the trees above, it
Leaves some shady splotches and then some sun-soaked bits.

In the morning, if you follow the shade you'll stay cooler.
And you'll spend less time bent over picking in the sun
With your shirt climbing up your back,
Leaving your lower back exposed.

Lonna Neidig, a senior at Bellows Free Academy in St. Albans, writes about her experience growing up as a Chinese adoptee in a white family in Vermont.
Kevin Huang

Every comment echoes and rings in my head.
I know I don't look like them.
I know that my blood doesn't belong to them.
But I love them as my family more than I could for anyone else.

Ben Stoll, 17, wrote this poem about the song he and his younger brother would listen to on the drive to work at a berry farm, which was their first paying job.
Susan Reid, courtesy

Could you play that one song?
You know the one I’m talking about.
You know,
the one we blared from the car stereo,
with all the windows rolled down so all could hear,
the song we would play picking blueberries
in that all-natural,
weed-choked
berry farm.

Young Writers Project: 'Her'

Jun 16, 2017
Eva Rawlings, a rising senior from South Burlington, writes about triumphing over an eating disorder and finally feeling free. She read this piece at Poem City in Montpelier in April.
Susan Reid, courtesy

Look at her scars, they are not mine.
Wrists smell of blood, and of perfume and wine.
It stings me to think how one’s eyes get so cold,
Wrinkles her brow, makes her look far too old.

Susan Reid, courtesy

I’m sitting here at the dining room table and trying to write you a poem.
We’re leaving tomorrow on vacation together, which I guess would be envious to some.

Young Writers Project: 'Through Your Eyes'

Jun 2, 2017
Lila Taylor, a seventh-grade student from Charlotte, writes about her admiration for someone and how she wonders what that person thinks of her.
Lila Taylor, Courtesy

Through my eyes you are beautiful.
The person next to me might not see it.
They might not see the sparkle in your eyes,
the gentle wave of your hair.
But I do.

Morgan Biele, a sophomore from Woodstock, writes an appreciation for her school backpack and all the treasures it holds.
Susan Reid, Courtesy

Like Dora I rely on my pack;
It has every little thing I lack.
The fact I forgot during my test
Is in that book next to the rest.

Young Writers Project: 'What Are You Afraid Of?'

May 21, 2017
Courtesy, Phelps Family

*Sister Speaking/*Anna Speaking

Hey Anna.

What?

What are you afraid of?

Hmm. I don't know. I can't think of anything right now.

I know. You're afraid of getting an F. 

Well, I mean I guess I am. But I wouldn't start running around in a circle screaming if I got one.

I'm not scared of getting an F. I would feel special because I have never gotten one before and it would be different. I like being different sometimes.

Courtesy, Susan Reid

There is fuzz on my sweater.
My house is cold.
The fridge lacks leftovers to find dinner among.
I'm fed up with screens.

Young Writers Project: A Mother's Love

May 4, 2017
Courtesy, Susan Reid

Abby Simmons, a high school junior from St. Albans, writes about the incredible power of a mother’s love.

She loves like water
Beneath our feet
Above our heads
Coursing through our bodies.
Ever present.

Her love shines
Like the warm sun above,
Touching all those
On this side of the earth.
Radiant.

In her soul,
Lies an endless mine
Full of passion
That will never run out.

Courtesy, Susan Reid

Sophia Cannizzaro, 17, of West Glover, writes about the importance of achieving balance and how tricky it can be to get there.

Young Writers Project: We Don't Care

Apr 21, 2017
Courtesy, Susan Reid

This week's young writer, Lonna Neidig, a junior at Bellows Free Academy in St. Albans, says she has always wanted to write something “comparing how we process tragedies."

Young Writers Project: 'Happy Ballerina'

Apr 14, 2017
Courtesy, Alexandra Contreras-Montesano

she dances her way out of everything/soaring/arms curled cruelly around her head.
passe/develope/grande jete/and she's off/
i was a fool to think she could keep her eyes away from the mirror.
she glances/face glistening at her reflection/punctuating every tondu with a gaze.
i tell her to be happy and she laughs/her feet bleeding as she jumps again.
'i am happy' she replies/casting a longing look at the stage.

Geoff Gevalt

He had soft brown eyes and a forgiving soul.
He had a hug that consumed me in warmth.
He had lips that curled up at the ends and dimples when he laughed.

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