FREE Poetry Workshops at the Climate Museum

Free poetry workshop opportunity through Climate Speaks, a youth spoken-word training program and competition in New York City presented by the Climate Museum. All current high school students in the New York Metropolitan area are eligible to apply, and registration is free.

Climate Speaks kicks off with climate change and poetry workshops beginning March 24. For more information, please contact the Climate Museum directly at



See You at The Met! – Friday March 24, 6-8 pm

Dear Students, Parents and Educators,
You’re invited to the Opening Reception of the Gold Key Art Exhibition at The Met on Friday March 24, 6:00-8:00 pm. The exhibition features Gold Key artwork and writing created by NYC’s most talented teens. All are invited and no RSVP required. Come celebrate the 2017 NYC award recipients and design your own tote bag too!
  • Was your 2017 Art submission awarded recognition at the Honorable Mention or Silver Key level? If so, your work will be displayed digitally at the Opening Reception!
  • Was your 2017 Writing submission awarded recognition at the Honorable Mention, Silver Key, or Gold Key level? If so, you’re encouraged to enter a lottery to read an excerpt of your work at the Opening Reception. Student readings will be limited to three (3) minutes and the countdown begins after you’re handed the microphone. Interested? Enter the lottery at the opening reception from 6:00-6:25 pm. The Honorable Mention/Silver Key and Gold Key lineups will be announced at 6:45 pm after the Welcome Remarks are concluded. Refer to the program schedule for more details.
  •  Design Your Own Tote Bag! A free workshop will be offered to all guests.
  • Free Admission Ticket! All guests will receive a free ticket to view the rest of the museum’s collections. We hope you check out the galleries after enjoying yourself at the Opening Reception.
Scroll down for more information about the Opening Reception.
Scholastic Art & Writing Awards
New York City Regional Exhibition Opening Reception
Friday, March 24, 2017, 6:00-8:00 pm
Ruth and Harold D. Uris Center for Education
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
6:00-8:00 pm
  • View the exhibition of Gold Key works of Art including Film & Animation and Writing from grades 7-12
  • Read Gold Key writing from grades 7-12 on iPads in the Exhibition and in bound notebooks in the Nolen Library
  • See Middle School, 3D and Oversize Gold Key works on a film reel in the Carson Family Hall
  • View a screening of Silver Key and Honorable Mention works of art from grades 7-12 in the Seminar Room
  • Meet Pratt Institute in the Carson Family Hall
6:30-6:45 pm
Welcome Remarks, Carson Family Hall, ground floor
6:45-8:00 pm
Honorable Mention and Silver Key Student Readings
Honorable Mention and Silver Key recipients read short excerpts from their works (up to 3 minutes) in the Carroll Classroom. Readers selected by lottery. Eligible readers may sign-up for the lottery in the Carroll Classroom, 6:00-6:25 pm.
Gold Key Student Readings
Gold Key recipients read short excerpts (up to 3 minutes) from their works in the Carson Family Hall. Readers will be selected by lottery. Eligible readers may sign-up for the lottery in the Nolen Library, 6:00-6:25 pm.
Make a Tote Bag!
Facilitated by The Met. Get creative by designing your very own tote bag in the Studio. Explore how words can become art by engaging with images of primary works of art from the Museum’s collection to spark tote bag design inspiration!
The Museum is open until 9:00 pm. We hope you will explore and enjoy the galleries!

NYC Poet Laureate Deadline is 11/1

The NYC Youth Poet Laureate is a program that celebrates young poets who are interested in making a social impact. The winner of the Youth Poet Laureate Program will win a book deal to publish a book with Penmanship Books, a chance to build a platform around a political/social/community issue of their choice, and a chance to become the National Youth Poet Laureate. 

NYC Youth Poet Laureates have gone on to perform on The Melissa Harris-Perry Show, at Mayor Bill De Blasio’s inauguration, and at a poetry jam hosted by First Lady Michelle Obama.

The Youth Poet Laureate application is due Tues. November 1st. If you are at all interested, I encourage them to apply. If you have questions, please contact José Olivarez of Urban Word NYC. You can find the application here.

Finalists will be announced on November 15th, and The NYC Youth Poet Laureate Finals will take place on Saturday, December 17, 2017 at The Bryant Park Branch of the New York Public Library.

Here is a video of 2015 New York City Youth Poet Laureate, Crystal Valentine, to inspire you:

Take advantage of this awesome opportunity today!

2016 August Intensive in Partnership with NAACP ACT-SO

This summer middle and high students from the greater NYC metropolitan area participated in a pilot outreach program, August Intensive August 16-19.They engaged in four days of art and writing workshops and field trips too! Art students spent the week learning about and creating zines, social justice posters inspired by Keith Haring and learning how to approach the creation of a compelling portfolio.Writing students spent the week expanding their thinking about poetry, defining their voice in their writings and thinking critically about the scope and content and their portfolios. Students were joined by representatives from ACT-SO, Ashcan Studio of Art, SVA, The New School and Writopia who shared useful information about their program offerings to teens. August Intensive wrapped up with outings to Getty Images, Essence Magazine, Miguel Luciano’s art studio and The New York Times to  experience what it means to be a professional artist/writer.


Thank you to the wonderful instructors and guest speakers who shared their time, positive energy and knowledge!

Another thank you to the awesome people who received students in their place of work:

Last but not least, thank you to the incredible teens who participated in the first ever August Intensive at Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. I hope you enjoyed the experience and are off to a fantastic start to the school year. I will be in touch with participants soon with details about a follow-up session created especially for you to have the opportunity and guidance in fine tuning work you plan to submit.

Visit often for updates about upcoming opportunities to participate in free workshops.

Today (12/16) is NYC Submission Deadline

NYC Educators and Students,

Tomorrow December 16th is the deadline for submissions. Student work must be uploaded by 11:59 pm.

SUBMISSION FORMS MUST BE POSTMARKED BY DECEMBER 16th. The best way to ensure that a submission form is postmarked is to personally visit a post office and hand deliver your envelope to a window agent and request that your properly stamped envelope be postmarked to demonstrate compliance with a deadline.

LAST MINUTE RESOURCE: Do not despair if you’re scrambling at the last minute. The James Farley Main Post Office at 421 8th Ave in Manhattan is open until 10 pm.


Does the submission form have to be received by December 16th or postmarked by December 16th? It must be postmarked by December 16th.

Can I hand deliver my submission form(s) to the Scholastic office?  Delivery via snail mail is recommended, however, you may drop off your submission at the reception desk on the 1st floor of the Scholastic Inc. headquarter building at 557 Broadway. It will be staffed until 7 pm.

Does an educator need to sign the submission form? Yes an educator needs to sign the form irrespective of how and when the work being submitted was prepared. Any educator at a student’s school may sign the form.

I have an exigent circumstance. Can the deadline be extended? No. The deadline of 12/16, 11:59 pm is absolute for all NYC students.

Where can I find the submission form? After logging onto, you’ll see “Welcome to your dashboard”. Below, you’ll see 1. My Profile, 2. My Uploads and 3. Print, Sign & Mail Your Forms, and Pay For Your Submission. To the right there is a button labeled See My Submission Form And Payment Options. Click on that button to generate your submission form.


Reminder: Submission Deadline is December 16th

This is a reminder that the deadline for submissions is Wednesday, December 16th, only two weeks away!

Don’t forget about our newest award category, Editorial Cartoons.

The category, Editorial Cartoons, sponsored by The Herb Block Foundation, is designated for artwork that conveys a political theme or message. Up to three Medal recipients in this category will each be awarded a scholarship of $1,000. This is an incredible opportunity for teens to be recognized and celebrated for their talent and ideas. A fee waiver is available to any student with a financial need.

Editorial cartoons may be in the form of, but are not limited to single panel drawings with captions, sequential comic art, illustrations, digitally created drawings, or animated films with a political theme or message. I sincerely hope that all NYC teens share their unique perspectives about current local and world issues by participating!

Postscript to a Twenty-Volume Suicide Note

Postscript to a Twenty-Volume Suicide Note

By Lucy Wainger, 11th Grade, Stuyvesant High School

2015 Gold Key in Poetry

(Image Credit: Eclipse by Allegra Brogard, 11th Grade, Lycee Francais de New York, Gold Key, Photography)

        after Amiri Baraka

I look up
the stairwell
and see only empty
space through which to
fall/ And I look down the stairwell and see only empty space through which to fall
And back away from the banister, now it’s just the same, the family will send
Their feeble condolences and I will pour them over myself in angry red
Bliss/bless, someone else figure out the difference, someone ask
What was “going through my head” but how can I answer that when I never
Even knew my head was permeable, is that like a kind of diffusion,
How skin can let some things go through, the things it wants to, now
Does that imply skin could let everything go through if it wanted to,
But then my question is who decides, is it the whole skin that goes
I WANT THIS BACTERIUM NOT THAT ONE a joint effort type thing
Or is there a single or group of cells that holds the all the other skin
Under its control, could make it waver surface tension if it wanted to
Or could just let everything go through, dust motes, mosquitoes,
The hair on the floor of the barber shop, Baby are you sure you
Want to cut it all off?, little blue-green gemstones not yet discovered
By humans but which still float in the thin white air anyway as did math
Before we touched it, and as did language before we stuck our
Tongues in it, and as did eggs and sperm before anybody figured out
How to fuck, which was approximately three months ago, and which
Is probably the closest you can get to someone, or at least to
Turning into what’s inside you, and I guess today what’s inside
Me is resin and tulips and the acrid taste of not regret but a
Grinning version of it like Don’t you know they’ve already got you?
Written on the bathroom stall wall, don’t you know you’re made for
Falling, you do it every night into sleep and if you’re lucky some hazy dream
Maybe I’m just tired of it, maybe I wanted someone to catch me
By the scruff of the neck or the lungs or the hands, maybe I miss
The four calling-cards of white, snow/salt/milk/cum and your hands
Are white plastic, and your coats are very white coats, like dishcloth
Ashes, like SNOW GENERAL ALL OVER IRELAND, the faces
In the yearbooks and the man saying you’re-them-you-just-don’t-
Know-it-yet, so what if the lights are all ugly now, we’ve watched
This movie a thousand times, don’t you know the ending won’t change,
Don’t you see it still isn’t over?

YAWP Summer Workshops for Gifted Writers

The Young Artists and Writers Project (YAWP), created by Stony Brook Southampton’s MFA in Writing and Literature program, is dedicated to mentoring young people in the development of creative expression and critical thinking through writing.

The YAWP Summer Workshops pair seasoned writers with students, ages 13-18, in fiction, essay, poetry, playwriting and screenwriting.

Workshops include:

Creative Writing (Southampton & Manhattan)

Student writers in fiction, poetry and essay discover new ways to explore their ideas and have them heard. By week’s end, students have several pieces of completed work to submit or publish.

Scriptwriting (Southampton)

Five days of concentrated writing, during which each student creates a short, two-character script for stage or screen. The final day is devoted to a rehearsed reading of students’ work at the 2015 Summer Writing Conference.

Link to Application

Read work by past YAWP students here and learn more about YAWP in the video below!

American Voices Nominee: Nkosi Nkululeko

The Gone Game

By Nkosi Nkululeko, 12th Grade, Home Schooled

2015 Gold Key/American Voices Nominee, Poetry

(Image Credit: Music Heals by Maria Tinoco, 11th Grade, Children’s Professional School, 2015 Gold Key, Drawing & Illustration)

These days, there always be an ocean of spirits
flooding the streets
yearnin to at least become memory,
tucked in the wallet or
some amulet owed to the girl that went over yonder
and never came back to her old folk cryin’ a river
and I think I hear them, playin’
an elegy amid a village of trees,

perched upon branches singin’ a blues Billy used to and their skin,
brazen like a sunrise, be coated in some shadow and dusk

for the moon hides them well and even sun
casts a maleficent dark
for their body to drape into

and they be gone like a vesper hymn in the night,

an evenin’ prayer whisperin’ to the trees
of some secret they’d never gather
and we’ve been looking for them for some time now,
callin’ for their blood to resurrect.

Render us that pinch o’ wisdom
they done took down to bury with their own collection of bones.

“Come out. Where you be at, son?”
“We was playin’ hide and go seek and he never came back”

I can smell the scent of his laughter still,
nesting in the thorn arms of a flower patch.
This is bliss in its moment
of extinction,

“Maybe she’s here!”

We unearth this world,
for a hint of existence,
some draft of wind that will
open the gates to where the dead lie.

“Dammit, this is only a hand.”
Covered in barbed wire, guitar strings and a eulogy
“I remember when his hands made that magic. He was good player. Played like the dead would have.”

—“Speaking of hands
‘Fore she left, she never taught me how to strum the rib of a guitar.
How to extract a colony of sound from mouth to a finger.
How to make the rhythm we ride into a tangible thing.
She held it in her palm for me once.
The rhythm.
Gave it to me to preserve like a secret,
watched it film through fingers like water,
shattering upon pavement
and this is all metaphor
for love…or friendship…..or human..

..and it’s so easy to break.

—but yeah the hands,
took this as proof that she never
needed her own body to hide,
just a pulse and some days not even that.

“where are you? I’m not playing hide and go seek anymore”

Can’t you hear him?
playing a piano forged of teeth,
little jewels of light shrieking into dark,
an eclipse of noise, echoing off the earth
and we are a solstice away from his body,
“He’s not…gone, is he? I never got to say goodbye.”
I just know it.
He’s somewhere ‘round here, waning.
“I think I found something,”—-> ….something
beneath the soil throbs,
yearniin’ to be found, seen,
“Only a make-up kit”
filled to brim with instruments used to vanish one’s self,
marked with the hand print of a father
on the underside,                            an omen to the touched
cloaked in maggots and dirt

“where are you?”

and out from the hands of the water,
they all drift,
a collection of heads with no faces,
bodies mangled and worn, wearing sweaters
woven from the thread of hair
and the mouth, nursed in pocket
begins to sing for the forgotten,
for the dead learning to breathe without air.
For those that leaves this place with only a memory….
and some days,
not even that…

2015 American Voices Nominee: Jack Braun

how to kiss death

by Jack Braun, 7th Grade, Rodeph Sholom & Writopia

2015 Gold Key/American Voices Nominee

(Image Credit: Death of the Unknown by Edgar Barrios, 2015 Gold Key, Drawing & Illustration, 12th Grade, High School of Art & Design)

I don’t believe in
History class for the same reason
I don’t believe in

maybe, just
maybe if I don’t believe
in it,
it will go away.
maybe, just
maybe if I don’t think about
it will

History class,
that is.
ghosts will always linger
somewhere. everyone
knows that.

it’s not that I don’t
it’s just that I don’t…
fine,  I don’t like History class
there. I said it. quote me.
it’s not the teacher or the homework.
(I mean, I get As and B+s)
I study! I have fun!

but how do you
believe in something that
you don’t know it positively happened?
yes, evidenceblahblahblah,
but I wasn’t there!
(fine, I’m a narcissist.)

and we don’t know it happened!
like we don’t
KNOW that ghosts
really exist!

History and ghosts.
two things that go well together:
put in some
Genocide, one cup of
Evil, a teaspoon of
Heroism, a pinch of
War with some sugar on top,
Sugar that tastes like blood.

Because that
History is.
Genocide and Evil (a bit of heroism) and War and Sugary Blood.
and, like Halloween,
Death and ghosts come out
of the shadows
in the night.
but mostly death and
I wish there was a book
in the library, called:
How to Kiss Death

and I wish this because most people don’t
understand why they die.
it’s because they won’t accept Death,
because they don’t want to become just another
spot on the map of History

page one:

there’s no going back,
but once you go back you’re on Death’s list.
suddenly, swiftly, Death will attack.
and then, big and bolded, chapter one: How to Kiss

you should wait in the shadows
until Death comes, pitying you,
and you cry from your sore mouth
and bleeding lips and broken heart,
Death will cease your fears and your worries and
Death will Kiss you and all of your dreams will come true and
Death will help you and hurt you and make you better than you ever were and
Death will kill you but it will be worth it and
Death will Kiss you with its salty lips until
Death sucks all of the pain out of you,
Death stops the crying and reverses the clock and
Death will help you-
and then I closed
the book

because, well, Death?!
No one wants to think about Death!

(oh, but, like, sorry if you’re maybe thinking about death right now…?)

and if I don’t think about it,
maybe, maybe it will go away,
Death might sneak back to the dusty corner
it came from, and it might go back from where it came from,
Death might retreat from History and History might not
be full of ghosts and ghosts
might Kiss Death back–

but I don’t think about those things,
it’s bad to think about– or is it?

is it bad to plan your future,
to remember your past, to acknowledge
the dead who
Kissed Death back

yes, it is bad,

maybe, just
maybe if I don’t believe
in it,
it will go away.
maybe, just
maybe if I don’t think about
it will

it is good to delve in,
for another bite,
another lesson,
another Kiss.
I open the book;
Chapter two:

Don’t Resist.