This year, 100 Thousand Poets for Change is focusing its campaign on reading poems to children, aware of how their young lives are affected in this chaotic, threatening, and beautiful world.
“This seems to be an important year to highlight the significance of children in the world. We are increasingly aware of their fragility. It is time to take a moment in this busy, crazy life we live, and share something we cherish. Poetry is our gift.”
-- 100 Thousand Poets for Change
Poetry is a balm for the soul assuring us we are not alone.
Children and young people live in the same world we do, with all its kindness and risk. They experience the same beauties and traumas that adults do – they just may process them differently. Our children will live in the world we are making, and that world is not yet one rooted in justice and human dignity.
Reading and writing poetry is one of the ways we love each other in this world.
As you read these poems to the children in your lives, we hope that they find their lives represented in the poems, that the poems spark their creativity to imagine new worlds and an outlet to express themselves or feel affirmed. We hope children and young people will know that we are at work on the world, striving for the just and supportive world they deserve.
Below we offer 18 poems chosen especially as options for 100 Thousand Poets for Change Day.
Some of these poems are appropriate in their language and subject matter for small children, and some are not. Some of these poems focus on difficult topics. We believe you know the children in your life best and will choose well for them.
We hope you’ll read a poem to a child on September 29 for 100 Thousand Poets for Change Day and that these poems offer beauty and nourishment for your young ones.
For additional poems, visit The Quarry: A Social Justice Poetry Database.
Alleyne, “Love for My Culture”
Jan Beatty, “Zen of Tipping”
, “Too Pretty”
Aracelis , “Break”
Amanda Gorman, “An American Lyric”
Peter J. Harris, “Don’t Even Pretend (The Saturn P0em)”
Taylor Johnson, “The Explains Gentrification, Explains Themselves”