Léna is also a Regional Manager for Writopia Lab whose mission is to foster joy, literacy, and critical thinking in kids and teens from all backgrounds through creative writing.

"Well, the question is, what do you want to believe? Do you want to live in a world where things are possible, or in one where they aren't?" Cin, Edges.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Reveling in a Teen's Words

POETRYImage by Enokson via Flickr
 Cross posted on SheWrites:

How can we not revel in other people's words?

Especially ones that are spoken,
       whispered or belted
        in an intimate manner,
        on stage or off,
        words connecting with listeners,
        with readers,
        showing our common humanity,
        reaching across borders of experience, age and culture.

My life-line as a writer and human being is in being part of communities that advance and support other writers. Communities like Girls Write Now, and SheWrites (and Writopia, the writing program for kids/tweens and teens that I teach for).

Part of Girls Write Now's mission is for teens to practice sharing their work. I am struck by all of these young authors, but am particularly focused on Dalina Jiminez. You can watch for yourself and hear the power of her words here:

Did you REVEL in the raw emotion of her teen poet's voice?

I do not consider myself a writer of the poetic persuasion, but listening to Dalina reminds me of why I am compelled to write - it is to understand our experience and create something larger than ourselves that touches others.

Dalina inspires me to think about my own struggles with lack of privacy and sleep with her poems Reveling and Sleep, Or Something Like It. Her words take me with her as she is finally able to take a nap in the sunshine and then as she struggles with the myriad things that get in the way of being in restful repose. My eyes sting as I feel as if Dalina is speaking directly to me, and I wonder at how she has successfully bridged our age gap.

Her emotional risk taking inspires me to write as authentically as I can both in my blog essays and with my fictional characters, delving deep into the specific details of their lives.

Writing and finding your own voice as a writer is all about details, and working with young writers on a daily basis reminds me of that.  I know that my life would be diminished if I didn't have a community of writers, specifically female writers, who constantly remind me of what's important.
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