Student Work

From a SpeakTogether virtual workshop, Talent Unlimited High School, Spring 2020

This poem was composed during a six-week session conducted by author and spoken word artist Sheri Booker, who worked with a class of 10th-grade students to develop their voices. This workshop took place during a global pandemic, a national lockdown, and uprisings across the country to end police brutality and structural racism. Read more about the works in this collection, which are artifacts of this period and a true testament to the vision, creativity, and resilience of these students.

Listen to a recording of the following poem above. 

Final Poem

by Gianna Tagliarini

We are judged for what we wear
We are judged for our hair
We are judged if we are too skinny, but God forbid we have extra meat
Our opinions sometimes mean less
Which makes our insides a mess
And don’t even get me started about how we always have to look our best
We pray for a man who’s not a creep
Which sometimes could be a huge leap
Constantly being scared about not being good enough
Asking ourselves, was I not thin enough?
Ambitious, angelic, and artistic is what we are as women
Without us, men wouldn’t even be here
So how come they would get paid more if we both just sat down and steered clear
The truth is pretty ugly and something we have to face every day
Together we are stronger than all the men in Bombay
So why our we told we are women were supposed to cook and clean all day
Our work ethic should not be like dogs who run along all stray
We are independent, we are women and we are as tough as a stingray

Gianna Tagliarini was a sophomore at Talented Unlimited High School in NYC at the time of this recording.

You can navigate their individual poems and listen to recordings of them reciting their stellar works below.