Does the Sky Feel Like Me?: Poetry by The Academy for Young Writers

News —— May 22, 2024

Would you rather swim in a pool of maple syrup or Nutella?

This was one of our class’ favorite questions of the day as they crafted poems for Does the Sky Feel Like Me? at the Academy for Young Writers. They experimented with bingo grid poems, season haikus, and raps, among other forms of poetry. Together they practiced sign language for emotions and discussed why poetry could be considered “the music of words”. They built up confidence when sharing in front of the class about vulnerable parts of their lives and moments when they felt proud.

826NYC Teaching Artist Amanda Dettman writes, “If you take away something from these poems, I hope it’s that weirdness is our greatest superpower. The people unafraid to own their story are the ones most often creating brilliant worlds of survival and strength. After reading, remember to give the old you a hug. They got you to this moment.”

Does the Sky Feel Like Me? invites us to embrace the chaotic, luminous voices we contain that wrestle with the everyday instead of reaching for answers. In a time when everything is up in the air, what does it mean to return to the stories we’ve been told about ourselves, but do so as believers of the impossible? What if the opposite narrative is even more true, so utterly authentic we can’t look away? 6th graders at the Academy for Young Writers explore rhyme, rhythm, and repetition in poems about pizza, dreams, growing up, uncontainable colors, and how we change every few minutes like the birds on Brooklyn telephone wires.

Get a sneak preview – read Sara’s amazing poem, “The World Revolves Around”.