Monthly Archives: July 2012

Featured Poet: Hatte Kelley

Meet Hatte, a 10th grade student at North High School and Central Academy. Hatte is, without question, a Brave New Voice.

Hatte Kelley

The poet that influences me the most is Larry Moore. I never had a chance to have him as a teacher but he motivates me to perform harder, louder, and more passionately. 

If I could read one poem for the rest of my life, it would be “That Girl” by Alysia from Brave New Voices. I read this poem and it made me envious of how Alysia had the power to not be reduced to that girl.
The best line I have ever written was, “I am a carton of broken eggs, a dozen eggs, 12 months, 12 disappointments, every twenty-eight days…” This line really makes me think of the possibilities of a poem I could make, but where this line originated from is a poem I wrote that didn’t work out. 
The reason I write poetry is because I have always loved writing, I wrote songs when I was a kid, but I didn’t understand music and all its technical things. It never even crossed my mind as poetry being an option. It turned out that poetry was the type of writing I had always been doing, I just didn’t know what category my writing fell under. So, I was poet and I didn’t know it.
To me, poems are like if you took your deepest thoughts and threw them in a cauldron. Then, dashed in fresh thinking to produce new ideas and provoking thoughts. Then letting it simmer, you drinking down what was left after the smoke had risen, and then you have what I call a poem on the tip of your tongue. 

Brave New Voices!

Last week, we had the privilege of attending the Brave New Voices International Youth Poetry Festival in San Francisco. Thanks to the United Way and Des Moines Public Schools, we were able to take 6 students and 3 teachers to participate in the week’s festivities. To learn more about Brave New Voices and the positive impact it has had on the youth of this world, visit

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Dreams Do Come True!

BNV Crew, 2012

Thank you, Des Moines Public Schools and The United Way, for supporting us!

Featured Poet: Callista Rose Bates a.k.a. Callie Bates


Callista Rose Bates

The Poet That Influences Me The Most Is George Watsky.
If I Had To Read One Poem For The Rest Of My Life It would Be “Go Robo” Because It Reminds Me Of When I Was a Kid.
The Best Line Of Poetry I’ve Ever Written Is Stand Up For Your Rights Or You’ll Have None At All.
I Write Poetry Because I Wanna Encourage Kids To Be Unique. Even Though I’m Not Very Old, I Have My Own Experience With Being Myself.
Poems Are Like Your Thoughts Turned Figuratively Around And Placed in A Box.

Featured Poet: Brionna Lam


Brionna Lam


The poet that influences me the most is one of my teachers, Miss Emily Lang. I see a lot of her style of writing in my poetry. She has lots of beautiful imagery in her pieces and that’s how I get inspired to write pieces that are so detailed.

If I could read one poem for the rest of my life it would be 10 Things to Say to a Black Woman by Joshua Bennett. The way he describes each thing to say leaves very breath-taking mental images. I could watch it over and over again, and never get tired of it.

The best line of poetry I’ve ever written is, “They plea for our ears to listen while their faces gleam and glisten with tears streaming down from their eyes.” I feel as if it really hits the heart hard and makes me feel so much sympathy. A really strong image comes to mind every time I read that line.

The reason I write poetry is to express myself. Writing poetry is like painting pictures. You mix and play with words, like the colors of a painting to get the right shade, or phrase. I’ve always been an artistic person. Poetry centers me, helps me let out anything I need to get off of my chest. In three words, it’s just amazing.

To me, poems are like pictures. Each picture can be described differently and seen differently. For example, I could describe how a beach would look like with a turquoise ocean and very rough, gritty sand. Someone else could say that the ocean is a deep blue and the sand is as soft as cotton. There’s a variety of ways to use words to portray a scene.


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