Today my name is colorful.
Yesterday my name was dead souls.
Tomorrow my name will be lively spirits.
My friends think my name is fire.
The police think my name is burden.
My parents think my name is symphony.
Secretly I know my name is anything I want it to be.
Paint Me Like I Am is a collection of poems by teens who have taken part in writing programs run by a national nonprofit organization called WritersCorps. To read the words of these young people is to hear the diverse voices of teenagers everywhere.
Included are a foreward by acclaimed poet Nikki Giovanni, an essay from Kevin Powell, another poet associated with WritersCorps, and writing tips from WritersCorps instructors.
WritersCorps was started in 1994 to help at-risk youth in three American urban centers: San Francisco, Washington, DC, and New York City (the Bronx). Thousands of children and teenagers have since benefited from finding creative expression through writing.
“Edgy, mysterious and assertive” — Kirkus Reviews
“An inspiration for any fledgling poet” — BookPage
“Raging, defiant, giddy, lusty, and hopeful” — Booklist
“A rich kaleidoscope of poems that reflect the hardships of ethnic and urban existence against the steadfast spirit of youth.” — Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA)
“You don’t really have to love poetry to find appeal in these talented voices.” — KLIATT (Starred review)