InsideOut Alumnus’ Groundbreaking Poem
William Langford at 2007 CWP Slam Tryouts

William Langford, Citywide Poets (2007), was invited to be the student speaker at groundbreaking ceremonies September 16, 2010, for the new Wells Hall at Michigan State University. Will’s brilliant poem “Legion” received a standing ovation and is featured on MSU’s YouTube.
It’s been quite a month of honors for “Will ThePoet” who also took first place in the poetry slam at the Detroit Jazz Fest, winning the right to open for Branford Marsalis in Hart Plaza on Labor Day. Will is now a senior majoring in English at Michigan State, where he founded the MSU Poetry Slam team. As an InsideOut student, he edited his school’s literary magazine (Cass Tech’s Ambiance, 2004-2007), participated in Citywide Poets, won a trip to New York as a member of Detroit’s Brave New Voices Youth Poetry Slam team, and took awards from the Michigan Youth Arts Festival and the Columbia Scholastic Writing Awards. Please join us in congratulating our wonderful alumnus.



May 25, 2010


My sea shell
my sea shell
told me that
I’m an angel
and God sees
me like he
sees everyone else

Kowan Johnson

May 25, 2010

Dear Dad,

Don’t worry
there are a lot of angels up there and
if you fall
you land on cotton

Hanstein Elementary

May 25, 2010

Dear Dad,
I love the way you used
to give me candy
sometimes when
I go alone
to the shore of Lake St. Clair
I see you
resting I love you
see you later

Rain sounds like tapping shoes on the ground

Rain feels like tiny pebbles falling from the clouds

Rain looks like thin pieces of thread coming from silk worms

Rain tastes like cool water from an icy mountain

Rain smells like the Amazon rain forest under a shower

Keontay Williams, Hanstein Elementary

Poetry is the magic in my pencil

my night light in the dark

it is the power of my will

it is the reason why dogs bark

it is the reason why we are all smart

it is the power of all art

it doesn’t have to rhyme

it doesn’t cost a dime

it depends on emotion

for all this writing commotion

now you can see

what poetry means to me

Momodu Daramy, Hanstein Elementary

Poetry to Me

May 25, 2010

Poetry is the way I can express my feelings. Whether I’m happy, angry, thrilled, or when I am having the blues, poetry is the one way to express my feelings.

Jarel Mills, Hanstein Elementary

May 25, 2010

Poetry really means to clear your mind and think of words and put them all together and imagine what you can do with the words like tell what you did today or are going to do tomorrow. I use imagination when I need to think of a solution. I’m on a star dancing around with a smile, clowning around, do I have to fall down?

Tatiana Anderson, Hanstein Elementary School

Poetry means to express your feelings, to write things that are creative and keep you from being bored. Poetry can be about things that you did that are as joyful as water boiling in a pot, throwing rocks in the river, or staring at a colorful peacock.

Kyle Jones, Hanstein Elementary School


May 25, 2010

Poetry is sentences of art.

Poetry is something that comes from the heart.

Poetry is something you can imagine.

You can even write about yourself.

Poetry is something you think is a masterpiece.

Poetry is something thou should be proud of.

Marcell Moultrie, HAnstein Elementary School