This #GivingTuesday, Mentee Kilhah’s words give us a glimpse of the impact of Girls Write Now’s powerful programming.
When I was struggling to cope with the overwhelming racial violence in the media and a truckload of uncertainties about my senior year due to Covid-19, Girls Write Now was there for me. Most days, I was moving around my house listlessly. I was practically a zombie. Then, I attended a Salon on Spoken Word Poetry led by Mentor Cynthia Amoah, and I started to come alive.
The environment of positivity, warmth and encouragement helped me transfer all my negative emotions into rich lines of metaphors and imagery. I was able to use sound and repetition to bring my poetry to life and call attention to topics that mattered to me.
Through this salon, I learned to strengthen my voice and transform it into a weapon, both to defend myself and attack the systems that aim to harm me.
I remembered that poetry is not confined to books. It does not strictly belong to a seventeenth-century British poet and his endless sonnets. Poetry is the ache of a single mother’s back, the slight brush of your crush’s hand against yours, the tears in your eyes when you kiss your old life goodbye and embrace your new one. Poetry is people and more importantly, poetry is you.
—Mentee Kilhah St. Fort
With your help, we can continue to empower future change makers like Kilhah, offering a space for self-expression, healing and wellness during these challenging times.