"Exploring grief through creativity provides a really valuable experience. Students can learn more about themselves through the creation process. And it does take a certain level of bravery to submit the work for evaluation because that might not necessarily be the reason why you created it. But I invite creative students who are coping with grief to do that very thing, which is to submit their work to us. By participating in the program, by opting your work in for the New York Life Award, you expand the community of teens openly discussing and coping with grief."
- Tendo Mutanda, Scholastic Art & Writing Awards
This week I talk with Tendo Mutanda and Darius Atefat-Peckham about the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. Tendo is with the Alliance for Young Artists and Writers, which runs the program, and Darius is one of the student winners for poetry, and is winding up his term as one of just five National Student Poets before heading off to college in the Fall. Darius lost his mom and brother in a car accident when he was just three years old, so we talked about his experience with grief and what poetry has meant to him over the years, including how his poetry style has shifted over time to incorporate joy along with grief. Tendo and I talked about the awards program for both artists and writers, including who can participate, and how. We also talked about the New York Life Award, which creates a space for teens to explore grief in their art or writing.
I hope you enjoy my discussion with Tendo Mutanda and Darius Atefat-Peckham.