What Poetry Does for Inner City Youth


As a 15 year old, I actually had the opportunity along with my mom who sat next to Allen Ginsberg’s mom to meet some great people:

  • Amiri Baraka
  • Gwendolyn Brooks
  • Nikki Giovanni
  • Allen Ginsberg
  • Maria Mazzioti Gillian
  • Laura Boss

To name a few! They came to visit our schools and to the Paterson Museum and they inspired me  and others to continue in poetry. I was first introduced to poetry by my gifted and talented teacher, Mrs. Busnar in the 3rd grade, as a way to vent and express myself within the confounds of my neighborhood. I didn’t know we were poor, none of us did, but I know that we delighted in these very prominent people coming to town. Here are some pictures my mom saved, God bless her!

I do not have the full papers but one day I will request the archives and I think if anyone wants to look them up they can. At the time I was Wanda Wilson,and promised I would make books someday,Thanks to the great visitors,writers,poets…that dream came true.