I have never felt more beautiful.
A girl’s poetry.
My heart and soul, and the world around me.
When the world ends, I am just a girl and I am still poetry.
I have always been drawn to poetry.
And I was not alone.
There are tens of millions of girls and women who are poets, and many of them are reading and writing and sharing their stories.
I was inspired to write a book about these women and girls.
This is not a biography, and it is not intended to be.
But it is an attempt to bring together the stories of these girls and boys, and to tell the stories in a way that is both relatable and inspiring.
It is an anthology of their voices and the voices of other girls and girls in their community who are inspired by their stories, and I want to hear from you.
It will be an anthology, and this is a new project.
I know I can never write poetry again, and that is why I am doing this book.
But I am also hoping it will inspire others, to give voices to these girls, and also to help them find their own voices.
The story of one of the world’s most beautiful girls, Lacey White, is about what happens when poetry is not enough to tell a story.
I hope that this book can give voices and hope to the thousands of girls who have been turned away from the poetry of their community because of their gender.
Lacey was born with severe cerebral palsy.
She has a disability in reading.
When she was little, she used to sit in a wheelchair and cry in the snow.
She didn’t want to be a child anymore.
She was always scared.
She felt as if she couldn’t read, so she would have to read by herself.
At first she had no choice.
She would sit in the car in front of the house, and sometimes she would go out and play on the ice, and she would sit there for hours on end, crying.
And then she would read.
Her father would read to her.
But when she was older, she could read.
Lacy could read, and then she could write.
She wrote poetry, and soon her poems became part of her community.
But as she grew older, her writing grew less and less accessible to her community because her father stopped reading to her after he lost his job as a carpenter.
But her mother still encouraged her to write poetry.
They wrote poems for her family and friends.
She told her mother she would write to them if she could get her dad to read them.
And so she did.
Lately, Lacy’s father is very sick, and he can’t read anymore.
But his family is still reading poetry.
The poems are coming from her.
And Lacey, through her poetry, is part of the community.
She is telling stories.
And the poems are helping to tell her stories.
This anthology is an effort to give a voice to these young women, and they are just getting started.
This project is the result of my years of work with the National Endowment for the Arts, which funds poetry collections.
The National Endowments for the Humanities and Social Sciences and the National Museum of American History all fund poems in the public domain.
This new project was made possible by a grant from the National Foundation for the Art of Writing.
This grant has been made possible in part through a grant made by the National Gallery of Art.
This book is an opportunity for all of us to see the work of these amazing poets in a new light.
The first chapter, “The Voice of a Child,” is about Lacey’s mother.
The second chapter, titled “I’m Not a Girl, But I Am Poetry,” is her father.
The book is available now.
The new Poetry of Lacey by J.R. Reynolds, with illustrations by Michael Ruhl, is published by HarperCollins Publishers.
Copyright © 2016 by the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting.