Calling all poets

The Princeton Public Library aims to be the community’s living room—and maybe its refrigerator door as well? The library’s Teen Advisory Board (TAB) is starting a new, monthly, literary publication, SPARK, that gives students in kindergarten through eighth grade an opportunity to showcase their original work. Charged to promote youth engagement with the library, TAB members and SPARK editors Margaret Evered and Ruhani Nigam suggested that a Princeton children’s “zine” would be a good fit for an instition that celebrates “words, ideas, and community.” Certainly, there is no shortage of creative talent among our youth.

Case in point: TAB members visit the YMCA’s Princeton Young Achievers after-school program on a regular basis, bringing fun and engaging literacy activities to the elementary school students. On one such visit, the students wrote poems, one of which began, “Alone was the dark of night.” They were rich and evocative words from a surprisingly young poet.

SPARK seeks to encourage and share these endeavors with a publication that will be available both in print and online. Submissions of short stories, poetry, artwork, news articles, photography, reviews, or recipes are welcome. Items may be submitted at the library’s third floor desk, and they must be received by the 10th of the month to be considered for the following month’s issue. Each month will feature a broad theme to inspire work, but submissions are not required to relate to the theme. January’s theme is “new beginnings.”

Do you know a talented young artist or writer? Encourage them to share their talent more broadly by submitting to SPARK. Visit the library or contact for more information. For artists and writers in high school, ask about FLASH.

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