Thursday, October 23, 2008

fall is here ... read the newsletter

back after much popular demand, we have finished the fall edition of the library-in-the-hood newsletter! you may remember that at our last newsletter meeting i had the kids actually read the newsletter and discuss its strengths and weaknesses. now, although i had to pull some teeth to get the kids to write actual articles, i think that this new and improved newsletter is pretty damned awesome.

but with everything here at library in the hood, we must take the good with the bad. which do you want first? let's go with the good ... kid who hates hoboes has been doing much better lately. i got him inspired to write poetry, and you'll notice he is our most prolific poet. he even helped my fabulous assistant write a poem about the importance of african americans voting. (page 2) and it turns out that he is responsible for my favorite line in said poem: we are kings and queens / of any scene. very harlem renaissance. so we've got one kid back on track.
then there is Y. Y is one of our smartest kids. she's a bit precocious at times, but she's a smart cookie. we haven't seen much of her recently, and then she shows up for the newsletter meeting and writes this poem. well ... it is a very good poem (page 4). powerful. raw. emotional. disturbing. i think it's apparent from the poem that she is being abused in some way. my assistant and i discussed it and we decided that the next time Y comes in, we will have a chat with her and see if she will tell us what's wrong. but sadly, Y hasn't come into the library since our last newsletter meeting.

if i worked in a community in which the parents were more active participants in their children's lives, then i have no doubt a parent would read this newsletter and be troubled by this poem. said parent could even go so far as to ask me to remove it from the newsletter. and with good cause. however, no such parent exists. i've debated about whether or not to censor young Y, but i feel like it would be wrong. first off, it would be blaming the victim. it is not her fault she is abused and we should not rob her of an avenue to express her pain. and second, it is a damned good poem and the other kids could learn a lot from it. both about life and about good writing.

so there you have it. just another day in the life of ...

4 comments:

*Bitch Cakes* said...

I am glad you printed Y's poem- as disturbing as it was to read. I think you can call 311 to report any suspicions of abuse or neglect.

Miss Dewey Decimal said...

sadly, i'm all too familiar with calling the child abuse registry. i think we'll wait until we talk to her about it though.

Jennifer said...

Yay kid who hates hoboes...glad to see he's coming back. That poem by Y was powerful. Poor thing. I hope you get to talk to her.

rowan said...

keep us posted if you can. Y's poem is so grim for such a little girl.