#Lang30: A Poet is Born

Every Thursday, New_S presents a new story celebrating the 30th anniversary of Eugene Lang College. Are you a Lang graduate with a story to share? If so, please go here.

Ever since she was a little kid, Jeanette Anderson (Literary Studies, ’11) wanted her voice to be “important” and “worthwhile.”

“I didn’t want it to be downplayed because my age,” she said.

At Eugene Lang College, Anderson discovered her outlet: poetry.

“Poetry is about empowerment and finding ways to share your story,” she said. “Lang set me on a path of finding my own voice and experimenting, and feeling more confident.”

But it wasn’t enough for Anderson to find her own voice: she wanted to help others, particularly young people, find theirs. After college, she joined the development department at the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers, a nonprofit organization that presents the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. The awards are the nation’s longest-running, most prestigious recognition initiative for creative teens, and the largest source of scholarships for young artists and writers.

“Wendy Walters and Alexandra Chasen, two of my teachers at Lang, encouraged me to pursue writing,” Anderson said. “It’s a powerful thing you want to pass onto others.”

For the celebration of Eugene Lang College’s 30th Anniversary, Anderson shared a poem she wrote recently. It was inspired, in part, by the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

Coming Home from Spring Street

Two boys are buried in one day,
a building burns in SoHo
and the streets fill with sirens.
I bike home over the bridge,
subject to no one but the East River.
Nature has a formula:
algae dies sooner than the oak trees.
Sometimes the only thing left is to crawl
into the dog’s bed, happy to have
his heavy head resting on my chest.
No questions. No want.
Of course there is still need.
I press a pen down
on my thick universe
that familiar world of dear
and dark mahogany.
Words of religion sometimes still comfort me:
“Behold, I am gathering two sticks
for me and my son.”

Every Thursday, New_S presents a new story celebrating the 30th anniversary of Eugene Lang College. Are you a Lang graduate with a story to share? If so, please go here.