This piece combines coming-of-age with American politics around reproductive rights.
Ilana Drake is a sophomore at Vanderbilt University. Her work has been published in Ms. Magazine, PBS NewsHour, and The Tennessean. Additionally, her poems have been seen in magazines such as WriteGirl's Lines & Breaks, CHINCHILLA LIT, and Poetry as Promised Literary Magazine. During high school, Ilana served on the NYC Department of Education Chancellor's Student Advisory Council, and she has advocated for inclusion in schools. When Ilana is not busy engaging in student activism and writing, she can be found enjoying the Nashville weather, hanging out with friends, and swimming. Ilana's work can be found here: https://ilanadrake.wixsite.com/mysite/projects.
Ilana Drake’s work focuses around social justice topics, such as educational equity, feminism, and disability rights. Ilana’s experiences with advocacy have pushed her to write about these issues, and she hopes that her words will have an impact on others. She recognizes the value of different perspectives and lived experiences. As a rising college sophomore, she has grown up through her writing, and the themes showcased have changed with her age.
We wrote these two poems to showcase connection during an isolated time. Although we were geographically far apart, these poems knit us together as we wrote on a shared document.
My piece “journey while traveling” was inspired by my high school experiences and transformation into a young adult. This poem starts with me as a young teen and progresses into my exploration of adulthood.
Amanda Gorman’s poem at the 2021 Inauguration inspired me to write my own piece about America’s values and ideals.
I wrote this piece after visiting the Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial Site last summer and attending the United Nations Holocaust Memorial Ceremony on January 27, 2020. Seventy-five years have passed since the liberation of Auschwitz.
Last spring, the New York Times was flooded with articles about abortion and how some states were trying to undermine Roe v. Wade. After reading these headlines, I became scared for myself, the girls around me, and any person who has a uterus. However, I have learned that if you are scared, you must stand up and fight for change. I am fighting back with my words.