Alliance for Young Artists & Writers

Gold Key

Poetry is finally getting some limelight, thanks to National Youth Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman and her inspirational inaugural poem. We have some news that’s closer to home yet equally inspiring. Our 13 y/o son Adam is also a poet. Yesterday, he won a GOLD KEY from the 2021 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards!

Adam’s been writing poetry since second grade. Some have been school assignments but most he writes on his own, following moments of inspiration. Some are funny, like the Suess-like MONKEYGIRAFFE or the romantic parody CACTUS AND BALLOON. Others are poignant and heartbreaking, like THE WOLF. His most recent, a horror titled GONE BUT NOT FORGOTTEN, gave us chills.

One night two years ago, we had a fire going in the living room, and Adam (at age 11) was inspired to write FIRE SNAKES. Here’s the opening:

A simple log fire is like

A hundred writhing snakes

Hissing and sputtering

Flickering their fiery tongues

Later that spring after he turned 12, I noticed him lying under the big tree in our front yard for a long while. Later that night, he shared his poem BY THE TREE. Here are a few lines:

I’m still, as I lay

 Like a simple, unblown leaf

 Un-touched by the wind,

 Nature’s ever sweeping thief

Adam keeps his poems in a Google doc he continually updates, which he’s shared with us. But we are so blown away by his poetry, we’ve been eager to share them on a bigger scale. Only this year in seventh grade, he’s been eligible to enter competitions.

This fall, we entered a collection of three poems to the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, Alliance for Young Artists & Writers. Yesterday, an email came in from Adam’s ELA teacher with the subject line WHOOOOOOO! HOOOOOOOO!

Adam won a GOLD KEY for his poetry collection titled NATURE’S PEAK, including the poems Snake Island, Song of the Creek, and By the Tree. As the Congrats letter states, Adam’s in good company.

Since 1923 the Scholastic Awards have recognized some of America’s most celebrated artists when they were teenagers, including Andy Warhol, Stephen King, Joyce Carol Oates

All Gold Key winners receive a gold key pin and are automatically entered into the national level! So stay tuned, we’ll find out mid-March whether Adam has won any national medals. Regardless, we are immensely proud of our boy.

For nostalgia’s sake, here is the first poem Adam ever wrote at age 8. He even illustrated it.

Doves are soaring.

A sea of roses.

The wind is blowing, the flowers away.

Past that, a storm of petals.

But I love you more.

No, Adam. We love YOU more. And we are so proud.