Celebrating Teenage Poets

Poems are like jeans. Although it may take a while, eventually everyone can find the perfect fit. Just like jeans, I believe that poetry is for everyone. Those who don’t enjoy poetry just haven’t found the right poem.


Not only is poetry for everyone; everyone is a poet. I love celebrating even the smallest pieces of original poetry whether it is an intentional piece shared at an open mic night or a poetic utterance meant for no one to hear.

Poetry Friday is one way I celebrate poets weekly. The poetry posts are genuine, original, and personal. This week’s poetry link-up is hosted by Tabatha Yeatts at The Opposite of Indifference. Because all poets should be celebrated, I love The Best Teen Writing of 2013. Teenage poets have a lot of wonderful poems to share, too!

teen writingAs I’ve been collecting good poems for my classroom’s daily poem of the day, I tore into The Best Teen Writing in search of awesome poems. I want my students to know that, despite their youth, they can be published authors.

They have words worth sharing.

They have a voice that needs to be heard.

Some of my favorite poems from the book include a fantastic sensory poem by Kira Pelowitz, a 17-year-old from New Mexico:

In the Summer

in the Summer, I write ripe poems;

I write honey and sun poems;

I write fermenting poems, I write mushroom poems;

I write sweet-scent dirt poems.


nothing is ripe here during the Summer,

but I don’t write char poems;

I don’t write dust poems;

I don’t write poems slick with sweat.


I write wind and sandstone poems instead;

I write poems where the wind makes the mountains a flute;

I write ribcage and hipbone poems;

I write poems that crumple below the weight of swollen stone-fruits.


I write moon poems that hide in oyster poems,

and palm poems full of oysters;

I write poems where I drink the moon

slick, and soft, and cool.


This poem makes a great mentor text with the repeating lines “I write” and “I don’t write.” I would use this formula as a quick write or to help beginning poets start. I also love how Kira uses a plethora of images, one on top of another, to heighten the imagery of the piece.

But primarily, I want my students to know that they are real poets just like the teens published in the book.

Poetry Friday