“This edition collects a potpourri of genres (fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction) and topics (nature, childhood, family, friendship, memory) by twelve authors from seven countries. Beneath their diversity, these pieces rotate on the common axis of time.”
- David Weinstein, Founder, Write the World LLC. Read David's full letter here.
JAYDA BRAIN (Australia)
Pollen stuck to his thighs, the man feels
something unnamable growing in his chest
AMAAL FAWZI (Lebanon)
As if in slow motion, every eye turned to him—a stranger loitering at their fountain.
PRIYA CHAWLA (United Arab Emirates)
"Who are they?" Roshni asked her aunt as she poured the chai into different cups.
ALENA LIN (Singapore)
With plates of food in hand, you are forced to greet vaguely familiar faces.
Quiet settles like a thousand years of grief, and
it spills over in the wake of a firework's shout
AMALOU OUASSOU (Morocco)
We think it was a lit cigarette
flicked off the wrist of a driver, racing past
SYDNEY HEINTZ (Switzerland)
In the fall of '96, I was going through a rather transitional stage in my life.
REBECCA PARK (US)
As we approach the river, the sight between its two bridges is my worst nightmare.
RYDER KEREOPA (Australia)
You think this poem will preserve the breeze,
preserve the dark and oaky trees
GENEVIEVE SMITH (US)
"Bye," she says. "Love you!"
I freeze, almost tripping down the steps.
LINDA KONG (US)
The Zhou family typically ate dinner at a rectangular table for four.
This edition collects a potpourri of genres (fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction) and topics (nature, childhood, family, friendship, memory) by twelve authors from seven countries. Beneath their diversity, these pieces rotate on the common axis of time. Like a carousel ride, the elders sit at the slow-moving center and the children ride bobbing horses at the outer edge. With each rotation, the children cover more ground, gain more experience, and create more vivid memories. Here, these teenage writers, examining their own childhood, view time at the carousel's edge, looking inward at what’s gone before and outward to grab brass rings of future opportunities.
To begin, Jayda Brain’s (Australia) poem, "Three Ways of Saying the Sun is Setting," uses natural light to momentarily freeze time through reflections of the “old woman” and “tall man.” By contrast, a full year’s reflection helps Alena Lin (Singapore) come to terms with the less public aspects of her grandfather’s life and resolve to move ahead in "The Forward March of Life.” Analogous to time’s carousel, "The Running Track" by Rebecca Park (US) depicts that uncomfortable rite of “sur-passage” when, for the first time, a daughter passes her aging father in a footrace. Winning the competition, the author understands, “. . . the sound of his love for me is the sound of our feet hitting the pavement together.” In "ready?," Sovereign (US) telescopes a methodical lifetime of academic preparation into the starting blocks of a high stakes exam. We feel the precise moment when their potential energy becomes kinetic.
Examining climate change, Ryder Kereopa’s (Australia) poem prophesies untimely doom, creating urgency by giving voice to “ . . . the clock ticking down the hours until the end’s upon the flowers.” Similarly, in "Small Blaze in a Roaring Fire," Amalou Ouassou (Morocco) narrates how a flash forest fire immolated his grandfather’s lifetime of memories. He writes, “The walls turned to ash. / The furniture turned to ash. / My grandpa’s only picture from when he was a lad / is somewhere on the ground, turned to ash.” With optimism, in "The Singing Lark," Jensen Lee (US) measures time and evokes nature’s power of renewal through birdsong. He writes, “The lark is soon spent and done, / but another one will come like the sun at dawn / . . . and like before / its life will be open and done, / and there will be a new singing lark.” Genevieve Smith (US), in "A Natural Ending," serves up Instagram snapshots of a friendship’s trajectory, from “breathtaking” at age nine to one that grew old and hurtful and “also taught me sorrow and pain and loss, and how to move through it.” Finally, in "Daughter of Kali," Priya Chawla (United Arab Emirates) explores the three dimensions of time: yesterday, today, and tomorrow. “Yesterday would wash away with yesterday, and who has the time to worry about the stains and pains that come with tomorrow? . . . Because to Roshni, all that ever mattered was Aaj. Today.” Unfortunately for the character Roshni, her parents have other ideas about tomorrow, as you will read.
Please make time to read, listen to, and reflect upon these young writers’ perspectives.
- David Weinstein, Founder, Write the World LLC