Nov. 18th: Young Writers Reading In Celebration

Next week! Nov. 18th @ 5:30pm

Join us for a celebration of young voices. Every year, The New York City Scholastic Art & Writing Awards receive over 5,000 submissions from young writers in 7th-12th grade. As, the longest-running, most prestigious, recognition and scholarship program in the country, the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards encourages young artists and writers to nurture their creativity and share it with the world. This evening celebrates the work of NYC students who have submitted to the Awards in the past.

Young writers will be sharing excerpts of their work, poetry, prose and everything in between! Meet these up and coming NYC writers, and hear what they have to say. Friends and family are welcome. We will be joined by professional writer Timothy Small, a professor at St. Joseph’s College.

Stay updated by RSVPing to the Facebook Event.

Tuesday, Nov. 18th, 2014

The Parlors
St. Joseph’s College
245 Clinton Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11205

Enjoy this teaser, by Michael Shorris, who will be reading at the event.

Ordinary Travel by Michael Shorris

(2014 Gold Key, Silver Medal)

‘I seek a tourniquet for my mind’
says a man on the J train. 
I like his syntax and wonder if I could fashion my own version of such a device.
But his profusely bleeding left calf makes a more compelling case for aid,
so some police wrap him up and take him away. 
I think I’ll miss him.
He leaves a small pool of red that turns a gruesome brown on the speckled floor;
‘shit on the robin’s egg’ announces a man with a grey do-rag and a Brooklyn hat.
I seek his eloquence in my own writing.
It oozes from one side of the car to the other as we rock on the Marcy el.
I hear a woman scream Fuck me? No, fuck you! into a small plastic phone; 
I’m more taken aback by her cellular service in the subway than her language.
A drop into the tunnel 
while sweet Southern tones glide out of three middle-aged black men.
They entertain with eccentric clothes and eccentric expressions, 
performing caricatures of men I know they are not.
They have too much pride for this shabby occupation, and for that I admire them more.
They sing, and soul resonates against plastic seats and steel expressions,
the high treble of jangling change balancing warm baritone voices. 
I think this is urban peace. 
Tranquility was broken
as a higher being spoke to me.
The man was nearly a foot taller than I was, 
balding head delicately tucked beneath the air conditioning. 
His dry mouth spat prophetic words about a savior I didn’t know very well 
though vaguely hoped to meet.
Feeling guilty for lack of piety,
I offered a crumpled bill in an outstretched hand to one of the soul men;
thought I’d created my own tourniquet out of charity,
wondered if I’d bought my way into heaven.
[Crushed when I remembered I wasn’t religious,
I considered taking back my donation.]
Maybe I was unhinged, 
but it was then that it hit on a Broad Street-bound J train.
Charity wouldn’t buy redemption,
nor would it patch this slowly hemorrhaging mind. 
My tourniquet would need more than white guilt and spare change.
Until I’d made it, I’d never find my peace
and so I quietly hoped for some officers to take me away, too.

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