Since its founding in 1995 by Terry M. Blackhawk, PhD., the InsideOut Literary Arts Project has nourished and published countless young writers at 25 elementary, middle, and high schools in the city. InsideOut inspired The Citywide Poets group and sponsors poetry slams and readings around the city. Amid paying office rent and salaries, InsideOut manages to publish and print 350 anthologies per school. Students submit poetry and art to the publications, and learn details of the publishing process, right down to the graphic design of the cover. Program Director Robert Fanning orchestrates the school residencies and trains resident writers, who are local professional writers and often college students with an interest in teaching and sharing their own creative process. Supported by a talented and hard working staff of artists, writers, graphic designers, and office administrators, Fanning heads up special events and collaborations for the program and makes thedetroiter.com's Kid Lit! possible.

With strong community support the InsideOut Literary Arts Project has thrived over the last decade and will continue to inspire writers in the years to come and we couldn't be more pleased to help spread the word and words about this terrific program. — Eric Novack, Editor

You can learn more about InsideOut at www.insideoutdetroit.org.


by Antwon Graham
Durfee K-8

Teacher: Ms. Washington / InsideOut Writer-in-Residence: Latitia McCree



I can see mom's thick choco locks of wool
I can see dad's prominence
When I look at my nose
I can see the years of love in the lips of my grandma
I can see a mark when I had
an unfortunate encounter

Inside My Magic Pencil

by Lydia Doty-Faulk
Golightly Educational Center

Teacher: Ms. Holt / InsideOut Writer-in-Residence: Peter Markus


I saw walking roses
and an alien walking
without breathing.

I saw a flying stick
up in the air,
an eight-headed fish

in a bowl walking
on the sidewalk.
I saw a shiny tooth

jumping with
a toothbrush
and a person

with one eye
and a magic phone
talking to a pony.

Then I saw a girl
named Lydia
who looked like me

and whatever I did
she did. And we were stuck
in my pencil together.

Walking in a Cornfield

by D'Shawn Featherstone
Kettering High School

Teacher: Ms. Anderson / Writer-in-Residence: Ella Singer


Like a summer wind walking through a cornfield,

your hands reshape tall stalks that had no intention

of being moved. Today, more than corn feels like

corn. As the moon takes his hold on the braggart

in yellow, can't you can feel something moving around

and through your normal, like a scythe separating

wish/want/from/real/now, can't you feel something

trying to blossom inside like a tulip? I can. Every

time the wind walks through my past and my present

I feel something strange and wholesome walking

with the wings of the wind, walking around a

corn field in the middle of the night. Hear the

gust and crack of the corn against the still

of my soul.


All Poems appear courtesy of InsideOut Literary Arts Project. "Mirror" appears in Volume 5 of "The Window Talks to Me" the literary magazine of Durfee K-8. "Inside My Magic Pencil" appears in Volume 1 of "Inside My Magic Pencil" the literary magazine of Golightly Educational Center. "Walking in a Cornfield" appears in Volume 15 of "The Griot" the literary magazine of Kettering High School.

To purchase a copy of any of the books listed above, or to see more InsideOut publications, visit www.insideoutdetroit.org.

© 2002 thedetroiter.com