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Rana Roosevelt ‘25 earns national honors for poetry

Rana Roosevelt ’25 uses poetry to process her own life experiences while at the same time considering the experience of those who hear or read her work. Her approach recently earned recognition in the 2024 YoungArts National Competition in the category of Writing Spoken Word for three of her poems.

In the winning submissions, “Slice,” “Moonchild,” and "Feral,” Roosevelt explored her identity through different lenses and experiences. 

“‘Slice’ is a flowy poem where I’m both de- and reconstructing my identity,” said Roosevelt. “In “Moonchild,” I personified different aspects of nature. It’s foggier, and less explicit – an exploration of myself and the people around me. “Feral” is the physical manifestation of my anger at being catcalled.”

Roosevelt did seven takes to land on the best possible recorded submission.  

“I use a lot of words that sound alike and write in a specific way, so that you don't have to read far to grasp the meaning,” explained Roosevelt. “I want to convey the overall emotion right away and for it to be there for the taking.” 

In Lower School, Roosevelt started writing stories, adding poetry to her repertoire in Middle School. She got so hooked on it that in addition to completing poetry assignments, she started writing poems outside of class.  

She admits that poetry takes practice and more practice and it can be frustrating at times, especially when you can’t articulate exactly what you want to say. But the hardest part, she said, is reading her poems to other people. She loves the GFS Coffee House, where students can share their work and has done five readings there. While the other students are always supportive, she noticed that their reactions got better as she got better. 

While Roosevelt is still thinking about her future path, she knows one thing for sure.

“I will always write, even if there’s no reason.” 

Read Rana Roosevelt’s poem, “Slice.”