Poetry for teens. This is not what we or our son expected for his summer reading assignment, but that’s what we saw. And this book has just been published, and isn’t available on amazon. What else? Not only is it written for teens, but it is written by teens.
We were intrigued.
Based in Portland, Maine, the Telling Room is a non-profit organization devoted to young writers. In addition to providing space, support and coaching, this organization also publishes finished works. Each year, the organization sponsors a year-long anthology project focused on a specific idea or theme. For 2018, the theme is color.
“In this 2018 Telling Room anthology Atomic Tangerine, authors explore color – the shades and hues that animate our lives and stories. Through the spectrum of colorful writing…, writers redefine the way they perceive their own lives and the lives of others.”
Poetry for teens, written by teens
Sixteen-year-old Siri Pierce writes the introduction to 36 poems and stories. Authors ages range from late elementary grades to high school. We found some of the stories hard to read; the emotion is raw. These children have borne far more than we wish they had to bear. A few of the poems are funny.
As Cynthia read this anthology, she remembered the early-summer immigration controversy with children being separated from their parents. Thankfully, our government discontinued that practice. But many of the authors in this collection are from war-torn areas, are immigrants, are trying to ‘fit in’ to American culture.
What poetry might those children write, if only someone helps them?
Color is everywhere even if we don’t actually see it. It takes its shape in the heat of emotions, the music we blast into our ears, the signals and signs that save lives, and the stories that prance off black-and-white pages. Color is how we interpret light, in the frequencies and intensities that define our visual perception. As you embark on the following poems and stories, we invite you to explore the color waves of your own existence, and afterward, share these young voices with other readers and writers.