High School Poets Write Summer Heartbreak

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All this summer, Studio 360 has been collecting high school students’ poetry about the season for our latest listener challenge, the Battle of the High School Bards.

Enter the contest — deadline: Monday, August 18 at 11:59pm ET.

This week, Kurt Andersen checks in with our judge for the challenge, the poet and Columbia University professor Dorothea Lasky. She tells Kurt that she has noticed a few themes in the submissions so far. “There were a lot of love poems, and sometimes summer romance gone wrong,” Lasky says. “There were some poems that were kind of tragic. A lot of them were like, ‘Summer actually sucks.’”

Lasky loves reading the work of young people, who may not be skilled poetically but are on the cutting edge of linguistic changes. “I think they take risks and take liberties and use language in new and inventive ways,” she says.

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