Jenny Holzer Installation Student Poems
September 11, 2019
Acclaimed artist, Jenny Holzer, recently commissioned 18 826NYC students to include their poetry in her permanent installation at 7 World Trade Center which is available to the public.
Holzer along with Larry Silverstein of Silverstein Properties, developer of the World Trade Center, invited the students, parents, and members of the 826NYC community to gather and see their words in action. Hear from Jenny on why she selected these young authors to be included and enjoy the poems featured in the installation below!
“I needed to fill the space at 7 World Trade Center with writing that reflects the joy of New York City. I invited young authors of 826NYC to offer their voices to the project so their texts would appear with the programming by William Carlos Williams, Elizabeth Bishop, Walt Whitman, and distinguished others. The eighteen young authors–ranging from 8 to 18–represent the vibrancy and vitality of this great city. Thank you, Denisse, Erik, and all the authors who contributed so beautifully.”
By DéYanni C., age 12
Prospect Park is such a beautiful Park to go to in the spring. All of the flowers bloom and smell really good. The leaves start to grow on trees. You see kids swinging on the swings and kids running around playing tag. You hear people talking and cars honking.
By Brandon S., age 11
My favorite thing to do is ride the R train So when there is a storm and it starts to rain We get wet in the rain but not in the train Sometimes it goes so fast and sometimes it stops for a little while When the train stops at a station, I can hear some music
By Julenny R., age 10
Prospect Park dizzy hills rolling finding playing we were playing tug of war sunny park —
By Noemi M., age 17
Busy people, Google Maps says Seven minutes. Ha. Do you mean, two minutes? Baconeggandcheese is one word not three. We complain about the MTA getting too expensive So we Usain Bolt our way with strides That move faster than the traffic on the bridge. We get there with five minutes to spare.
Coney Island Waves
By Mia C., age 12
The ocean is so blue, Each wave knows its cue Boats on each wave
And none in a cave. People swimming in water, oh so cool Calming just like swimming pool People love it And don’t make a fit Unless they get bit.
You’ll See It Too
By Giovanna R., age 15
I live in a house in a town in a city where people walk around, talk around, looking pretty They go fast, they go quick, they go on None ever stop. With a stop, they can watch, go around, see my town Don’t just look–See Don’t just walk–Watch Don’t just be–Do Don’t forget to stop and then you’ll see it too.
By Denisse R.G., age 12
If you were a person, you would be a girl Your skin would be the whole benches and Your head and hair would be the sky and puffy clouds. You would smell like air. And you would be free And when you sleep and close your eyes You would go back to the stop that you are And I will see you later 18th Ave.
Brooklyn Is like a Big Book
By Alyn Z., age 8
Brooklyn is a big book for me It is a ginormous book. It has many subjects in it. For example, it is a weather book A food book And much more. It reminds me of a chapbook. For example, there are so many chapters. I mean it goes beyond beyond It will never stop.
New York City
By David P., age 11
This morning I woke up to A cold city. I wore 2 socks to School
I see a person calling for a cab There’s city buses that take you from street to street Thomas Jefferson Park has a soccer field, playground, and a basketball court. There also cheese pizza from 2 Bros NYC is as big as the whole universe My favorite memory is going to Rye Playland
Morning in Harlem
By Dallas M., age 11
This is morning in Harlem. We’re living in beautiful buildings with nice decorations. I can smell the fresh pizza, yummy french fries and spicy chicken wings from miles away. The air tastes like car gas, floating around the sky. Harlem looks beautiful, just like its night sky.
By Alicia F., age 11
New York is the source of fast food. Home is my happy place, it has everything I need. The smell of food everywhere.
New York City has it all.
The sound of little kids laughter Important people creating important things.
Phones Movies Family
New York has entertainment Burgers Drinks Even roasted nuts.
New York has a large variety of food.
Companys such as
Apple Microsoft Google YouTube
Help us connect and experience life to the fullest.
Friends Moms Dads Grandparents
Even pets support us at our worst.
Instagram Snapchat Twitter
Help us express who we are easier and make me and others feel connected
Medicine Cells Needles Medics
All help us in the way others can’t
Me and Myself
Help make the world better in ways others can’t
The First Train I Ever Rode
By Ivan V., age 11 (Cats & Dogs, Global Tech Prep — Writer’s Room 2017)
It is retired and it is very old The way it moves is very valuable It will never leave my heart Even though it might be living It is not running The F and M shares its route I will never stop exploring trains The V train is the first train I ever rode
By Husam M., age 12 (Like Running Fishes Up My Face P.S./M.S. 7 — Writer’s Room 2017)
When you were a child you had all the freedom Weren’t as strict In your own district but
That all ends When the torch burns out Your freedom is gone Like when the night Turns to Dawn.
When the dawn Comes leaves fall From trees But when Leaves fall Other leaves Grow.
By Luz J., age 11 (Like Running Fishes Up My Face P.S./M.S. 7 — Writer’s Room 2017)
Being a kid is about a dreamland, you do not have to pay the phone bill, or the rent, especially paying WiFi. Being a kid is about enjoying life.
The only work you have is school and your homework. You can get on rides that adults can’t.
You don’t have to worry about what job you are getting in ten years or the messes you make.
Kids don’t have to worry about paying the bus driver when they get on.
Kids don’t have to worry about which Man or Woman they pick Only worry about Now and go with the sun until tomorrow.
Wrists and Calves
By Uma C., age 12 (After School Tutoring 2017)
My fame would come from drumming every Saturday I spend my morning in a shabby little studio on 3rd Avenue
drumming till my wrists ache
until my calves are sore the happiness overtaking my exhaustion worried about not sounding good enough
thoughts racing through my mind faster than the tempo of the song
I was in my zone
my own world
By Manal E., age 11 (After School Tutoring 2016)
Flowers are blooming Trees are growing It finally Spring The hot sun is beaming
I see people not wearing coats or boots But what I love best is
The nice warm air.
We do not have to be scared of the nice, beautiful, warm spring air.
By Erick M., age 15 (I Am from Everything and Nothing at All In-Schools Bronx Leadership Academy 17-18)
I am American and Mexican
From the rundown apartments and buildings, I am the corner store that feeds me to no end
I am the bike and skates I clumsily fell from many times
I am the warm and refreshing aroma of flower-scented candles From el abuelo and his good ol’ dichos and cuentos From la abuela’s fine cooking that can satisfy even the biggest of beasts From the many tios, tias, and primos who scattered around to different corners of this vast earth
I am from Cinco de Mayo and Dias de los Muertos From the Mariachis and sombreros From tacos and enchiladas Stereotypes that have been stapled into society yet make me proud
From Mount Hope To Veracruz and Oaxaca Places that fill me with pride and will be in my memories forever My homelands
By Ta’Raun D., age 15 (I Am from Everything and Nothing at All In-Schools Bronx Leadership Academy 17-18)
I am a New Yorker & Hawaiian I am from the Bronx right off of the Grand Concourse & up the street from Yankee Stadium
I am the cars you see double-parked on the street with the hazard lights blinking I am when the sweet BBQ ribs are getting devoured by my cousin From sweet potato pie smell breezing through the house I am from playing tag in my apartment building on every floor
From hitting my brother and going to a cookout every weekend and running as fast as Usain Bolt
I am my great-grandmother and great-grandfather I am my cousin coming into the room snapping jokes on us like he is Kevin Hart
Who was so funny he got a Häagen-Dazs cashier job to give us free ice cream
I Am Priscila
By Priscila G.F., age 15 (I Am from Everything and Nothing at All In-Schools Bronx Leadership Academy 17-18)
I am from somewhere en Santo Domingo and the Bronx
From eating chimichurri at 7 o’clock at night after the light goes out en Santo Domingo. I am that big tree in our backyard that almost fell during Hurricane Sandy in the Bronx. From the city that never sleeps
By Sheila U.M., age 15 (I Am from Everything and Nothing at All In-Schools Bronx Leadership Academy 17-18)
I am Bronx and Ecuador. From a loud place and a crowded place. I am from my home feeling that i am safe but from a loud family. I am from a doll that made me feel safe in the dark nights. From childhood pictures and Nintendo 64.
I am from a loving mother and my grandma who always cooks food when i eat her food it always blows my taste buds away because it is that good. I am from parents who have a kind, loving heart. Who support me and love me and care for me
From eating dinner at the table as a family and talking about how our day went.
From pop songs and R&B songs that are like waves to my ear. From Soccer and Basketball, when i play them i feel free to let out my emotions.
I am from a family and without it it would be like i am not breathing, like being a lonely survivor in the world.
This Is Who I Am!
By Malvis E.P., age 15
(I Am from Everything and Nothing at All In-Schools Bronx Leadership Academy 17-18)
I am Dominican Republic, From Constanza there is a lot of trees, is a small place and everybody knows each other.
I am the Bronx NYC they communicate with each other, is good they help and when people need something they there for you.
I am a small home where two beautiful women live and they are always together, sitting in the couch watching Moana movie and eating some cooking.
I am Virginia Bueno Espinosa a woman who can cook the best Dominican food, smell good make me eat everything, she proud of her daughter.
I am “I grew up as strong as my mom, never give up in my goals.”
I am mangu with egg, cheese, salami,
I am Dominican Republic where a women don’t give up, work hard and hard everyday also have respect for everybody.
I am a Dominican girl who is strong as my mom who can do everything by herself, knows how to stand up when she down.
By Kyra T., age 16 (I Am from Everything and Nothing at All In-Schools Bronx Leadership Academy 17-18)
I am Big Apple and America From the Bronx on big streets with lots of cars passing I am the Nintendo Switch I am a warm cozy bed in a strawberry Pop-Tart I am Windows XP From books and TV to Windows 10 I am Grandma and Grandpa I am Mom Who created me and helps me develop From family vacations
I am a “Smart girl” From “itsy bitsy spider” to “shooting stars” I am Potato fries and Pumpkin pie I am bronzed baby shoes and Grandma’s wedding picture I am Big Apple
By Brandon O., age 15 (I Am from Everything and Nothing at All In-Schools Bronx Leadership Academy 17-18)
I am from the thirteen-mile strip of skyscrapers. From staying up till dawn just to make the most of the time we had together. From constant trips up and down la dichosa colina, just for two-liter sodas and bags of air.
From driving through the Turnpike, the Verrazano, the Washington, and the Brooklyn. All the while, looking out at the beautiful city I call mine, The bright moonlight giving the city an external glow, the halo of an angel.
I am from turbulence on an airline, excitement to visit mi gente, to see the tropical island, anticipating the happiness The happiness that will soon consume my being while I’m with my family.
I am from discipline. From being told I shouldn’t or can’t but doing it anyway. From the fear of the dark to crying in my bed at night in fear of the monsters under my bed.
From helping those I can, to ignoring those I can’t, then regretting it all afterwards. From trying my hardest, but still not succeeding, from being overwhelmed, from
sadness, from depression from nothing
there any more.
From vibrations of the tambareta in the bomba y plena echoing in my chest, To the buzz left on my lips left by my golden instrument, The music I played swimming through the air like a dolphin in the sunset,
I am from Royalty, from guns and roses, from Missy Elliot and the Backstreet Boys, From never-ending heartache, to loving him anyway. From feeling betrayed and vulnerable, but keeping a smile on my face.
I am from everything and nothing at all.
The Corner Store
By Biory D., age 15 (I Am from Everything and Nothing at All In-Schools Bronx Leadership Academy 17-18)
In the morning the corner store feels like Times Square always crowded always full
The corner store turns into a battleground Students fighting over who gets to order first
The smell of frying bacon and the sound of the cook scraping the grill fills the area
On rainy days all you hear is the squeaking of sneakers Students get anxious and impatient not wanting to be late for school As soon as you think
It’s over the next batch comes from the train or the bus The sound of multiple students coming in sounds like a stampede of buffalo charging at you
All you hear is the old man sitting on his scooter yelling “next!” for the next person
in line to pay The corner store is always crowded always full The corner is a battleground