The AIDS Poetry Project is a not-for-profit project founded by HIV-positive poet, mother and activist, Sandra Vreeland (1958-1996), winner of Mother's Voices' 1995 Extraordinary Voices award and author of The Sky Lotto (Cannio's Editions: 1995). Its goal is to encourage young people to express their thoughts and feelings about AIDS in poetry and, through these poems, to share their wisdom with the world. Through a volunteer network of teachers, writers, counselors and others, The AIDS Poetry Project has collected poetry from young people aged 6 to 18 from across the nation. These poems have been:
These poems and exercises can also be found on the World Wide Web at www.thebody.com/poetproj/poetproj.html. Please tell others where they can find them. Also browse The Body for more information about HIV/AIDS.
How can you become a part of The AIDS Poetry Project?
AIDS is "a lesson the whole world is learning at the same time," writes Sally Montas, 17, in her poem, "What is AIDS?" The AIDS Poetry Project is supporting this lesson by publishing this curriculum resource for youth AIDS education. This workbook is designed to assist teachers, counselors, peer educators and others to find new ways to help young people deal with the difficult subject of AIDS. This workbook includes a selection of poems written by young people through The AIDS Poetry Project, as well as some writing exercises that can be used to write new poetry. These poems and exercises have been organized by theme:
Please use this workbook in any way you wish: in English, creative writing, or health education classes, in after school programs and peer education, with friends and family, or by yourself. AIDS educators and activists are also encouraged to publish poems from The AIDS Poetry Project in their newsletters, handbooks, and other materials, thereby extending the reach of the project. New poems by young people aged 18 or younger may also be submitted -- please make copies of the submission form and include a signed copy with any submission. Poems may not be reproduced without signature by the poet and, if the poet is under 18, by his or her legal guardian.
THIS IS A DRAFT -- REPRODUCTION RIGHTS ARE STILL PENDING FOR SEVERAL OF THE POEMS INCLUDED. DO NOT REPRODUCE WITHOUT PERMISSION FROM THE AIDS POETRY PROJECT (803) 853-2033.
To receive permission to reprint poems, to submit new poems, or to make a contribution to the project, please contact: Susan Sully, 73 Moultrie Street, Charleston, SC 29403. Funding for The AIDS Poetry Project is provided by The J. M. Kaplan Fund and private contributions.