Exceptional Young Poets

Moonstone @ Brandywine Workshop
728 South Broad Street
Thursday March 26, 2015 – 6pm
Exceptional Young Poets
Sojourner Ahebee, Siduri Beckman, Soledad Alfaro-Allah
Host: Frank Sherlock, 2014/2015 Philadelphia Poet Laureate

frank sherlockFrank Sherlock (2014/2015 Philadelphia Poet Laureate) engages poetry as an interactive and public art form. His poetics have often delved deeply into implications of place and event. He is the author of Space between These Lines Not Dedicated. Other projects and books include Neighbor Ballads, Over Here, The City Real & Imagined written with 2011 Pew Fellow CAConrad, and a collaboration with Brett Evans entitled Ready-to-Eat Individual. Por Aquí, a Spanish-language collection of works translated by Carlos Soto-Román, will be published in Chile later this year. Sherlock is a native Philadelphian and a 2013 Pew Fellow in the Arts for literature.

Sojourner Ahébée, born in Cote d’Ivoire, West Africa, now currently resides in between Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Stanford, California, where she studies at Stanford University. Her work has been published in Apiary Magazine, The Red Wheelbarrow, Teen Ink, The Best Teen Writing of 2012, The Interlochen Review, Winter Tangerine Review, The Atlantic(online content), and The Academy of American Poets: Poem A Day. She has received two gold medals from the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards, she was a 2013 finalist for the Michigan Young Playwrights Festival, and last year (2013) she served as one of five National Student Poets, the nation’s highest honor for youth presenting original work. In September of 2013, she was received at the White House by Michelle Obama to garner her award. Her favorite writers include Nikky Finney, Lousie Gluck, and Junot Diaz! We claim her as a Philadelphian since her mother still lives here and Sojourner lived here for many years.

soledad Alfaro-AllahSoledad Alfaro-Allah, 2014 Second Youth Poet Laureate, is a rising Junior at Science Leadership Academy, and is a member of the Poetry Club, which competes in the Philly Youth Poetry Movement SLAM League. Her bi-lingual poetry shows a seamless incorporation of two languages into a unique and mature style.

Siduri BeckmanSiduri Beckman, 2013 First Youth Poet Laureate, is a student at Julia R. Masterman School who aspires to be a district attorney and eventually a Supreme Court justice. A six-member committee selected two finalists, and the city’s first poet laureate, Sonia Sanchez, made the final decision. “I really think [poetry] can be used to help teens with issues,” said Beckman, who sleeps with a pen and adhesive notes near her bed and spends her free time reading, writing short stories and doing community service. “A lot of grown-ups don’t always understand what teenagers feel. Poetry is this super-raw form of expression [in which] teenagers can talk about the issues that they face.”

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