Augustus Griffith Jr. is a devout writer from Parkland, FL. When he isn’t busy creating short films, he hones his craft by writing everything from short stories to sonnets. He has a unique passion for telling conventional stories through unconventional means, and he has been featured in many student publications, along with two books from Penguin Random House and one of his own.
These walls opened me up before they constricted
But they now obscure the sky, leaving me conflicted
I used to think they were whole
These walls don’t stretch, they shatter
I need to let them go
These walls don’t just bleed, they splatter
These walls betray all the homes they contain
These walls decay, leaving dust and bones
They lie like false hope they propagate
They incarcerate all they used to liberate
With the growth they claim to facilitate
They don’t repent, they constrict and discriminate
These walls contain water
I should’ve swam farther
But I’m drowning
My ID says that I don’t rest
I cut my foot, I bumped my head
I jumped the books, I’ll hop a fence
I hate these walls, they killed my friends
I hate you with the passion that ruined my life
Troubling thoughts bubble inside
These walls are frail and I hope they fall
As we plead for our lives it all slows to a crawl
How many more have to die within these walls?
by Ola Faleti, 826CHI, with an introduction by Amanda Gorman, Inaugural Youth Poet Laureate of the U.S.
The pen is mightier than the sword. In this lesson, students learn there's no better evidence of this than the…
by Vanessa Ramon-Ibarra, 826DC
Living in the digital world can create unwanted attachments, as one student laments.
by Oriel, 826NYC
In this poem, an echoing question strikes a chord and reveals the tragic loss held within systemic injustice.
by Katya Torres, The 826 Dallas Project
This bilingual poem explores the harrowing story of a boy working while in school to save his mother.
by Jordan, 826 New Orleans
Crawfish, crayfish, or mudbugs. Whatever you call them, the writer of this poem doesn't like them.
by Soraya, 826NYC
This student’s powerful piece reveals the essence of racial injustice.
by Sergio M, 826 Valencia
A smile isn’t always what it seems.
by Sian Laing
When Instagram becomes an unsightly battlefield.
by Tammy Fong, 826NYC
A soccer-filled, feud-fueled memoir.
by Ryan, Grade 12, 826 Boston
In this public narrative, a student illustrates the hardships his uncle has faced to argue for a path to citizenship.
by Sharoya Bracey, 826NYC
In this memoir, the narrator recounts the struggle of being the bigger person in a very small space.
by Michaiah Anderson, The 826 Dallas Project
In this personal narrative, a student describes their family origins with an intimate point of view
by Jeremy Hsiao, 826 National
From the forthcoming anthology, Poets in Revolt!, this poem reminds activists that "to change everything, we need everyone."
by Raheem, 826 New Orleans
A student compares themself to the place they live, New Orleans, as both evolve through great obstacles.
by Steysi Hailee, 826LA
A student reflects on a small moment and single sacrifice that transformed her outlook on giving.
by Jonas K., 826 National
A student explores the paradox of how technology is used amongst teenagers.
by Keyshana, Grade 11, 826CHI
Black strength, beauty, and pride soar in this poem as a student discusses overcoming brutality and discrimination.
by Rockelle Rodd, Grade 11, 826NYC
This poem uses analogies to describe all of the pieces of the writer's personal history.
by Leydi Di Villanueva, The 826 Dallas Project
This creative narrative imagines how the coronavirus views humanity during the pandemic.
by Jesus Sanchez, The 826 Dallas Project
This creative short horror piece explores the mysteries and danger of a night in the woods.
by Earl Williams Jr., The 826 Dallas Project
A powerful poetic piece about the experience of being Black in America.
by Izzy T., 826 Valencia
A student reflects on memories of home and what binds her special community together.
by Julianna Cruz, 826 Dallas Project
This narrative piece contemplates the struggle of immigrants during the pandemic.
by Jennifer Alcocer, The 826 Dallas Project
This personal narrative addresses the struggles of students graduating high school during the pandemic.
by Shayne Williams
Discover what one student experiences when they tuck their phone away for a whole day.
by Joanne H, 826 Valencia
In this poem, a student’s experiences in two countries meld together as she seeks out her true home.
by Quardasha Mitchell, The 826 Dallas Project
In this compelling poem, the author navigates her relationship with America as a young African-American woman.
by Jazlyn Moses, 826 National
One student explores their online persona and the lasting importance of conscientious social media practices.
by Corazón, 826 New Orleans
In this essay, a student threads their identity across cultures, histories, and places, engaging with legacies of violence and the movement of people.
by Johnny Vasquez, 826 MSP
A family interview reveals a mother's painful past and shines a light on her persistence.
by Ryker, 826michigan
Liner notes that showcase the meaning and musicality of the Jimmy Ruffin song “What Becomes of the Brokenhearted.”
by Maria, Grade 12, 826 Boston
In this public narrative, a student makes the case for creating community change by building youth centers in her neighborhood.
by Riti Shrestha, 826NYC
In this poem, metaphor is used to describe who the narrator is.
by Alexis G., Grade 11
In this narrative, the author uses vibrant language to explore their identity, in all its complexity, through different landscapes.