Poetic Power

A Creative Communication blog

Featured Student Writer: Lily Lauben

on April 30, 2012

Lily Lauben was a Top Ten Winner for our Fall 2011 poetry contest.  Lily is a 9th grader at University Preparatory School in California.  Her poem “Pen to Paper” was initially inspired by extra credit her teacher was offering.

Image“I am extremely honored to have received this recognition. I never expected that the poem that I wrote to get five points of extra credit in english class could ever be so highly praised. Those were the actual circumstances behind the poem’s creation. My teacher had told us about the contest and bribed us with extra credit. I probably didn’t need the points too badly, but it seemed like fun, and grades can always stand to be boosted, right? I’m no genius, so mine certainly could. I had looked through some of my old poetry, but all of it was too long (because once I get going, it is always really difficult for me to stop writing). None of it fit the ‘less than 21 lines’ standard. I didn’t want to cut any of the existing poems I had either; it just didn’t seem right. So, I opened up a new word document and cast about for something to write about. I am also an artist, so as I zoned out at the computer screen, the pretty white word document started to remind me more and more of a blank page in one of my sketchbooks. I always put a little piece of myself in all of my poems, just because I find it makes them easier to write. I decided this one could embody the fear I always got, staring at those blank white pages (that was beginning to creep up my spine that moment). Something about the… expectancy, and the purity of those pages always made me scared to write/draw on them. At the same time, however, I always felt draw to that blankness. It was just asking me to make that first line. So, “Pen to Paper” was born. Possibly I’m scaring people with my obsessiveness over a piece of paper, but I think we’ve all had a feeling similar before.”

As one of the Top Ten Winners, Lily’s poem was selected out of thousands of entries as one of the best in her age category.  Thank you, Lily, for sharing with us what motivated you to create your winning piece.  We hope you continue to write and create art for years to come.

For more information about our national writing contest, please visit www.PoeticPower.com.  For more information about our national art contest, please visit www.CelebratingArt.com.

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