All the girls,
By Isabel Marks
I wrote this piece about growing up and being surrounded by other girls based on my Notes app.
All the girls, in their different dusty pinks, coloring their shirts and their cheeks. How real everything feels. Lost, forgotten things, all of it. Just sneakers, fish and flowers. Different humor, how that makes them all downright invisible weapons. You build your ships for yourself. Do better things. Refill your water bottle.
Taking Root: The Girls Write Now 2022 Anthology
For more than two years, our young writers have weathered an adolescence shaped by an ongoing global pandemic. But a harsh climate can also produce work of rare depth, complexity, nuance and humor. The Girls Write Now mentees in this collection have found new ways to build community and take root. This anthology is a catalog of seeds—each young writer cultivating a shimmering, emergent voice. In short stories, personal essays, poetry, and more, they reflect on life-altering topics like heartbreak, self-care and friendship. The result is a stunning book with global relevance of all this generation has endured and transformed.
I started this piece in a workshop on blackout poetry, and experimented with some thoughts written about Tillie Walden’s “On a Sunbeam” in my Notes app. I really liked a lot of the words and images I had used, and I liked the idea of taking phrases and playing with their formatting rather than writing entirely new phrases. I tend to write a lot of poems in the same format—short lines, one stanza, nothing extra in terms of spacing—so a format like blackout poetry ended up being really useful in terms of making the most basic form of the poem something I wouldn’t have written on my own. Once I had a draft, I broke from the mold of blackout poetry and edited it normally, reorganizing the poem to make it more cohesive and adding a few new lines.
Isabel Marks (she/her) is a high school freshman from New York City. Her Scholastic-award winning work can be found in notebooks and laptop folders. She edits for Polyphony Lit, where she serves as a member of the Junior Executive Board. Outside of writing, she likes yogurt, politics and art of all kinds.