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Victoria Takes ‘Addictions’ — Writing, Drinking — to Brave New Voices

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The Atlanta Word Works team is at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. (photo at right) to compete in IMG_2591 Brave New Voices. Tuesday’s activities included Opening Ceremonies, #ITooAmAmerica Poetry Slams and a dance party.

We are proud to share their work.

Victoria Smith, 15, attends Lakeside High School. 

When did you first start writing poetry? When I was about 10.

What inspired you to start writing poetry? I guess it’s really just like seeing people like Alysia Harris and Joshua Bennett in Strivers Row, and people like Natalie and the Brave New Voices teams that really inspire me cause it’s like some form of art I can actually do.

What is your writing process? It’s not really a writing process… If I’m coming up with the idea off my head, it comes to me in bits and pieces like it could be a part of a stanza in l the middle of my poem. That’s the first thing I think of. I [kind of] throw it off that line, and that’s how I do it.

Do you have a poet you admire? I really admire Ms. Natalie [Cook] because she’s such a positive person about her poetry and she wants to help spread her message through her poetry, and that’s really what I want to do.


Sandcastles and Bottles

I learned how to write Haikus in the second grade

I was a natural

Each of my poems consisting




I possessed powers no other second grade scholar had

I had the power to amaze the adults

I would run home

After each day of praise

Sitting on my father’s lap

I’d flash my gold-star work

In his bloodshot eyes

‘This was my passion

Writing was my addiction

Drinking was his own’

I am in the fifth grade

Composition turned poetry book




From white wine tear stains

Hard liquor miseries

I wrote during his disappearances

Waited for his return

Read to him my 2 A.M. feelings

For he was always too drunk to recognize his own

At 10 years old

My hopes in God were already dwindling

I could feel him in my dreams

Aura seeping from dark shadows

Must smelling

Half-assed promises

Rejected prayers

God was no show these days

Too busy to be bothered

Sunday morning miracles

Wondering if I was a forgotten bottle of mistakes and sins

Too broken to be fixed

Just like daddy was

Like the broken bottles he swept under the rug.

‘Say your Catholic prayers

Rosary press into flesh

God does not listen’

In the sixth grade

My mother put me in contests for distraction

Giving me an outlet to the brokenness

Truly felt without him home

Awards shared over phone calls

Certificates shown in empty visiting rooms

I understood that

Rehab was a competition of its own

Raised on a pedestal of progress

He showed me his own medals

Fifteen days

Thirty days

Sixty days

He said

He would be home in time to see me on stage

He said

He would be home

‘Building sandcastles

Ocean waves of destruction

Settling upon shore’

Three years ago

I stopped writing poetry

Three years ago

It was the last time he heard my poetry

He never got to see me on stage

He never got to come home.

Check out more Atlanta Word Works Poets at Brave New Voices. 

READ  VOX Teen Poetry: 'Chopped is My Enemy'

Video shot and edited by Dasia Evertsz, 17, is a rising senior at Our Lady of Mercy High School who has an interest in poetry.

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