In Your Own Words

Alicia Anabel Santos & Jonathan Hernandez
Writer-in-Residence, Spring 2019


When considering a name for our program and the anthology, we thought about something catchy – something that might stick and, hopefully, be embraced by the students. As we brainstormed, we went through a list of phrases and terms. “In your own words” is a common expression, but it can be interpreted in a variety of ways. The students of P.S. 122 represent a rich diversity of cultures and backgrounds as well as a diversity of voices and experiences. We were both curious and excited to see how these talented students would respond to our various warm up activities, writing prompts, and assignments. We were not disappointed, nor were we prepared for what they produced. The students took us on a journey where we time traveled to countries; they wrote haikus, elegies, epistles, fiction, and non-fiction. They wrote praise poems honoring where they are from and to the people/things they love. What you are holding is a body of work that our students began in November. We are happy that this anthology exists, if nothing else, as a testament to them. It contains their wittiness, humor, fears, hopes, concerns, imagination, and insights. Some of it is touching, personal, thoughtful, or serious, but it’s all them in their own words.

P.S. 122 Writers, we are so proud of you!

Click here to read the Full Anthology!

Featured Student Writing

Praise Poem / A Piece of Me …
by Mullika Saha

I am the shooting star

that shines in the midnight sky

with speed and hope inside me.

I am the baby bird in the nest,

trying to learn how to fly.

I was ready to give up, but I kept on trying.

Then, the story unfolds as

I fly across the sky.

I am the playful ocean

with waves splashing on the shore.

The water twinkles in the bright sun

and seashells laugh beside me.

I am taller than the trees

and smaller than Earth.

I am part of art,

discovering new things every day.

I am special in very own way.

by Bela Kirjak

I run down the road

The dirt flies in a cloud.

I turn back one time tears flying.

There is a huge stone cross

A figure looms in the distance, watching me go.

Another gust of wind

The sun sets red, glistening.

I run off the road

The grass gets thicker

The trees get taller.

Then I climb.

All the way to the top

The full moon hints a light atop me.

My heart seems to tear in two.

My tears mix with the rain.

I think back.

To the beginning.

Before the bullet hit your chest

Before the fight

Before I wished you dead.

I see you in the sky.

A final glance upon the forest.

Then I jump.

I do not fall.

I rise up in the heavens to join you

Praise Poem
by Diego Shirazi

I am four feet nine inches of heaven,

Born and raised in the capital of the world, NYC.

My roots trace all the way back to the way back to

The land of the camels,

As well as the land of Hispanic culture.

My family tree is Muslim, Jewish, and Christian,

Though I am none.

My past is behind me,

My future in front of me.

My happiness is based on those around me.

Good at some things, bad at others.

My spirit is taller than a mountain,

But my body is smaller than a tree.

My life path is right in front of me,

From skyscrapers to glee, I will always be me.

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