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Broadcasting new voices

Springfield student poet: 'It's a great way to connect with people'

Poets from the School of Innovation at a Springfield Museum of Art reading event in February 2024
Beth Dixon
Poets from the School of Innovation at a Springfield Museum of Art reading event in February 2024

Note from the producer: Today, we showcase student poets from the School of Innovation in Springfield. Their poetry is tender, troubled, heartbreaking, and sometimes silly. You will hear the students reflect on their creative process and tell you what their poems are really about. And just a warning: some of the poems you're about to read discuss serious topics such as grief, racism, and gun violence and also use adult language.

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Dayton Youth radio logo

Jinx Hampton: Hi, my name is Jinx. I go by they/them pronouns and am here at Springfield School of Innovation. We're in the writers club, and we do poetry mostly.

The Mask We Wear by Jinx Hampton

The mask we wear is thick with repairs
Layered on from all the times we've worn it

When we laugh too hard
And others look with disturbed eyes
Until we stop and patch it up
Returning to what should be ourselves

And when we show tears from emotions built up
And they ruin the colors layered
on the mask we've made
We look towards our peers
To help us take a moment
And breathe
Before repairing the mask with a tinge from the original

Our eyes open a bit too wide
And stretch out the holes
we've cut to see
Far too much
we see too much

it scares us half to death
when we see they've noticed
So we repair it
Enough not to let anybody see
who we truly are

For a long, long time.
We hide
Behind masks
Afraid of how others might see us
Not recognizing that
Might be wearing one too.

Don Taylor: My name is Donald. I'm in 10th grade, and poetry is a way to express myself. It is a way for me just to let out my emotions.

An Idea by Don Taylor

An idea
is like fishing
catching a thought
a piece of yourself
reeling you into
a place of imagination

An idea
is a place of curiosity
a place where there
is no one answer
but a place of infinite choices

Jinx: So, what's your preference for poetry? Do you like the shorter ones? The longer ones? The emotional ones?

Don: The poems I do usually end up more like a song.

I talk a lot about my past and how I felt emotionally at a point in time. Or I write exactly about what I'm thinking about in the present.

Most of it is just me listening to myself and my pen, writing everything down.

Jinx: I'm the same, except I don't hold a pen. I think it out first and see what connects and fits well together.

What it means to me is what matters. The audience might get it. They might understand. I just put it out there so they know they're not alone If they're feeling what I'm feeling.

Jinx: poetry is a great way to connect with people. The words connect to these little points in your brain and make a spark. Then you get ideas from other people's ideas, and it spreads. That's what I like most.

These poems and interviews were recorded in the library at the School of Innovation in Springfield. Special thanks to Beth Dixon from Wellspring and Kathy Lee, the principal at the School of Innovation.

Truth Garrett is a dynamic poet, multidisciplinary artist, and dedicated reporter for the Yellow Springs Newspaper. He produces Dayton Youth Radio at WYSO.