Poetry Takes Youth to The White Houseon Oct 31 in Slider, Uncategorized by email@example.com
Detroit Free Press, Oct. 27, 2011
I was a guest at the White House last May.
InsideOut Literary Arts Project, the agency that places writers in Detroit schools, was asked to bring 10 writers to a poetry workshop sponsored by the first lady, Michelle Obama. The agency chose five students from their Citywide Poets program and five students from Cody High School.
It was an honor to be chosen to represent InsideOut at the White House. I was so excited and surprised when my teacher told me that I was one of five students from Cody that would be going. When I found out that I was going because of the poetry I wrote, it made me feel good because before this year I had never written poetry. It meant so much to me to know that people were paying attention to my work and rewarding me for it. My work was going to take me to places I could only dream about.
There were a lot of firsts for me on that trip: my first time flying on a plane, my first time riding a subway, my first time travelling out of state and, of course, my first time going to the White House. It was just so overwhelming to be out of state and someplace exciting and new. Walking into the White House was the most exciting moment of my life.
I will never forget the time I spent with the nine other student poets in Washington because they showed me that poetry is awesome and that it is different from what I thought it was. I feel a lot of emotion all of the time, and writing poetry is a way for me to pour out those emotions and produce work that gets noticed. It means I’m getting noticed. The people I stayed with made me feel loved because we were all there to help and support one another. Writing poetry with them was just fun, and the writing exercises we did together will help me to be a better poet.
For three days, I was surrounded by poetry inside the White House and out. It was an experience that gave me confidence in my writing and in myself.
Brehonia Reese, Staff Writer, Detroit Free Press / FreepHigh.com / The Cody Connection
In 2009 IO youth also visited the White House, as recipients of a Coming Up Taller Award.