Introduction to Our Young Voices
For the third edition of VoiceCatcher, we decided to focus on young voices from one school in greater Portland/Vancouver. Our choice was Oregon Episcopal School in Portland.
I was fortunate to engage several English teachers in identifying work that was distinct and surprising. They sent me nine poems and prose pieces from which to choose five. It wasn’t an easy task but, after making my choices, I found all five young writers willing to work with me on revisions. Although I never met any of them, I feel like I know them through their fine work. To their credit, they did not blindly follow my editorial suggestions; they stood up for what was important to them in their stories and poems. The writing, in each case, is wise and written well beyond their years.
These young women explore familial relationships and the complex landscape of memory. They offer us a touching account of a father and his teenage daughter (“We Will Read to You”), a luscious and timely poem about summer fruit (“Strawberry Party”), a young girl’s surprising memory of an evening spent with a favorite uncle (“A Young Night”), an interaction with a very alive ocean (“Beach Wanderer”) and a wonderful story about art, innate talent and sisters (“Light and Dark”). These young voices are all extraordinary and we are proud to include them in our community of VoiceCatcher authors.
Young Voices Editor