Student Writing

T&W Writer Gia Rae Winsryg-Ulmer and students celebrate the publication
of their anthology at T&W’s Center for Imaginative Writing in New York City.


Teachers & Writers Collaborative programs reach thousands of young people in the New York City area every year. Our programs give students the opportunity to explore and develop their creative writing skills. At the end of most programs, Teachers & Writers publishes anthologies of student writing. We have a wonderful collection of poems and stories written by students from all over the city! See poems written for our book, A Poem as Big as New York City here, and here’s a small sampling of a few poems written by students in other recent Teachers & Writers programs:


My Third Eye Can See
by Jasbel (6th Grade)

People’s hearts getting broken.
People’s feelings getting hurt.

What animals do behind humans’ backs.
What these animals do and say.

I can read people’s minds.

I can see a million miles away.
I can see what’s outside of this planet.
I feel with my eye.

I feel the quiver that a mouse makes.

I feel the only breeze in a desert.
I also feel other people’s pain.

My eye can see into the future
the dark world
the light world
and where we go after life.

My third eye can transfer me to 
the past, present, or future.

(Matthew Burgess, writer-in-residence)

The Eternal Night
by Alberys (2nd grade)

I live in the night
I hear the flap of a flying fox’s wings
I feel the shivering
In my body coming from the wind
I see porcupines
Wandering in the sands of the desert
I smell the water in a cactus
I live in the night

(Gia Winsryg-Ulmer, writer-in-residence)


You are Here
by AJ  

I jumped into the Subway, the heart and soul of New York
Looking. Searching. To find New York.
Taking the people to and fro. here and there and
Back again.
The A, B, C, D.
The E, F, G, H.
The I, J, K.
The L, M, N, O, P.
The 1, 2, 3,
The 4, 5, 6,
The 7, 8, 9
Taking a ride on each, trying to find
Where New York starts,
and where it ends.
The doors go Ding, Dong, Ding, Dong,
the cards go zip, zip, zip
The Kla…Klank..on the turnstiles,
Flip flip flop of the newspaper
And the Du, du-du of the music to loud, so it crawls
around the headphones.
Ding dong, Zip, Zip, ZIP, Kla…Klank, a
Flip Flop Flip Du, ba-bu, da du…All the sounds
combine in my brain, and they say to me
“You found me. You’ve found New York City.
You are here.”


Let There Be Joy
by Gabrielle 

Instead of soil
let there be an amusement park
Instead of sadness
let there be Joy
Instead of depression
let there be a big heart
instead of darkness
let there be a tower to Planka
Instead of broken glass
let there be tall trees to the moon
Instead of hollow ground
Let there be an elevator to
the clouds
Instead of dissapointment
Let there be my great grandma
looking at me from the sky


Friend to Friend
by Jacqueline-Renee

Well, friend, I’ll tell you,
you’ve got to be happy!
Laugh. Sing.
Eat pizza.
Be tickled.
Color pictures.

(Nicole Callihan, writer-in-residence)


The New Yorker Statue
by Ruth 

The statue that represents us
With your t-shirt, jeans, flip-flops, purse
Poking fun at us in the harbor
Bringing snickers as you hold
Your pomeranian in your arms

What is the message on your Blackberry?
“Take a look at the juiciest, biggest
apple you’ll ever see!”
You hurry and look worried
Just like me

A bronze tribute
With a snoozing dog
With your carefully blown out hair
In every fog

And your black cashmere sweater
Stuffed inside your bag
Looking at your fancy flip-flops
And we can see your head sag

Out on your day off
From your job at Chase
And when you’re there
You always want
To be at some other place

Look at you, a statue of
A modern New Yorker
Showing us what we look like
In your home, New York Harbor.

Lady Liberty’s Makeover
by Adelle

Maybe, when New Yorkers
have a chance to see
the new and improved
Lady Liberty

A new fresh face
of our symbolism
has changed the mood
from stressed to relief

In one hand she holds
a glue bottle
On its label it says
“united glue”
the sticky that keeps us together
knowing that we are a nation

On the other hand she holds a hammer
to remind our country that we 
make the changes
building up the nation
brick-by-brick, building by building

Around her dress there are the ropes
that hold the city together
squeezing our bindings to keep us
united family

Around her dress
there are the ropes
that hold the city together
squeezing the bindings
of us to keep us
as one family


A Day in the life of a Poem
by Hidna

A day in the life of a poem would be as big
as New York City. A day in the life of a poem
would be jumping on a cab & going to work in Broadway.
Passing by the F.D.R. and stopping in Central Park
to eat lunch. Going through Chinatown to
shop for food before going home. Hopping on a
Ferry to see the Statue of Liberty to remind
you how big it is. Going across the Brooklyn Bridge
to get home, watch TV. & Eat the food you bought.