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Broadcasting new voices

Poetry 'as an organizer,' hear the work of Springfield student poets

Student poets from the School of Innovation at the Museum of Art in Springfield
Beth Dixon
Student poets from the School of Innovation at the Museum of Art in Springfield

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.

Dayton Youth Radio logo
Dayton Youth radio logo

Quill Durst: So my name is Quill.

Talee Silvers: My name is Nataliah.

Quill: We write poetry.

Talee: And we both go to the School of Innovation in Springfield and are in the ninth grade.

Talee Silvers (right) at the Art that Bonds event at the Museum of Art in Springfield in February 2024
Beth Dixon
Talee Silvers (right) at the Art that Bonds event at the Museum of Art in Springfield in February 2024

Quill: how did you get into poetry?

Talee: I got into it when I was around 11 as an outlet, because at the time I was going through a lot, and it was just a time when everything was messed up and scrambled together. It was like a ball of yarn; that's the metaphor I will use. And over time, over the years, the ball of yarn has just become little strings. There's still a little bit of that ball of yarn. That's why I write poetry.

Quill: I like that analogy. That makes a lot of sense. You're just pulling it out, organizing it so it's not so knotted.

only two minutes by Talee Silvers

Only two minutes
I can sing Happy Birthday twice
A total of four times a day for two minutes
Each time
Only 28 minutes
Only 112 minutes a month
1344 minutes a year
18,816 minutes
In my lifetime
Blue toothpaste at night white toothpaste in the morning
Same toothbrush no matter what
Simple mom says
Moldy teeth sister says
Did any fall out yet? Brother says
No, it's not I say to mother
Thanks for adding insult to injury, I say to sister
Thanks for putting fuel to the fire, I say to brother

Quill: I would say I also use poetry as an organizer because our brains are jumbled up, and we always have thoughts coming in and coming out, and there are lots of problems in everybody's lives. And that's inevitable because new experiences, old experiences, everything is just clockwork; it's the yin to the yang, you know? I got into poetry because I just liked that medium, and writing it down made sense because I have lots of thoughts, and sometimes you gotta jot it down. And sometimes, it can turn into art. Sometimes, it can be just words on a page or piece of paper. It's really whatever you make it to be. And I love art and philosophy, so it came naturally to me.

I am what they see by Quill Durst

I have teeth like daggers and a rage that's undying
I will bite
The world is slowly seeing through the cracks
Peaking in and seeing the shell of who I once was
They're seeing the blood and bits of flesh that coat my maw
I will admit I do bite
I bite hard because the daggers run deeper than they appear
Piercing my skull from the bottom up
It's agonizing
I can't be the only one who feels it
So I will make others feel it
I'm breaking myself beyond repair
And that's all the world's ever wanted to see
From the second they saw my savagery and its ability to ruin
They wanted me gone
To be broken
So why not be what the world desires?
Just another beast lost in its own rage

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.
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