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  • Raegen Carpenter

On Turning Eighteen


As writers, we can use our journey of growing older in unique ways. On the days we are feeling three years old, we can write stories about being on a playground, kicking our feet out from swings and sliding against sand. On the days we are feeling seventeen, we can write poems about preparing to leave our families, going to college, starting lives on our own.

Whenever I feel like I am in a writing rut, I always try to trace my memories back as far as I can and write from the perspective of who I was. Trying this can help you vary the kinds of voices you use in your work, and also help broaden the topics you write about. If you need a little extra push, here are some poems about childhood/ adolescence that stand out to me:

  1. Flashcards by Rita Dove -

  2. Three Songs at the End of Summer by Jane Kenyon -

  3. Believing in Iron by Yusef Komunyakaa -

Enjoy your journey! I hope you have as much fun as I did.

–Raegen Carpenter, Poetry Editor


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