2024 Creative Writing Showcase

2024 Creative Writing Showcase


In order to celebrate the diversity of the Hayes student body, the Talisman sent out a request for student generated creative writing submissions. These submissions could take the form of stories, essays or poetry and encapsulate a multitude of themes. The selection process was difficult, however we are proud of all authors who submitted.

Thank you, and please enjoy these students’ work.

Author Vinnie Bonzie
Do They Really Care About Us? – Vinnie Bonzie

Do they really care about us? Nah, they don’t really care about us. They don’t really care about me. They don’t really care about the change we are struggling to see. 

I’m tired of hearing little black girls come home from school saying: “Momma, I want a perm” because she feels like her coils and curls that sprout from her scalp ain’t good enough. I’m tired of our innocent youth being characterized as a threat. I’m tired of people telling me, “Stop talking like that, you’re acting like you have no class.” Well, oops! I talk with pride, walk sassily with my curves, and act confidently the way I do.

I’m tired of another one of our black brothers and sisters being killed almost every day for no apparent reason. It’s the same story just with a different name. I’m tired of everyone being defined and stereotyped into a hierarchy based on the color of their skin. I am so tired of not being good enough because my skin produces an excess amount of melanin. Well, too bad! ‘Cause I ain’t good enough for you. And I’ll never be white enough. I’m waiting for the day that we can all learn to love each other equally and there will be nothing but an abundance of peace, joy, and happiness.

The time is now for my black and brown brothers and sisters to stand with fists raised with pride and no more reason to hide. 

Author Vinnie Bonzie (Grace Metz)
Author Marta Bourget
11 again – Marta Bourget

in another world

i am 11 again

and youre 10


we meet for the first time

and it’s still awkward 

but we still become friends

after that we will do everything else the same


but in this world


you never tell me that you’re glad I’m not gay

and instead

you tell me you think that I’m so pretty


I am never heartbroken

and instead

you spend all the time in the world falling in love with me


just like how i did

in this world.

Author Marta Bourget (Grace Metz)
Author Nat Zahniser
Sleeping Beauty – Nat Zahniser

This is the story of a girl. For a long time, she slept, not really knowing who she was, and not really caring either. Life was good, nothing was really wrong. She did well in school, had good friends, hung out with all the other boys and played games. She was happy. She didn’t really know who she was, but is that really a thing a child needs to know?

Eventually, her happy life began to change. So many new things to learn, to see, to try. But not only new things, but changes to the old things too. It started with hair, hair everywhere, all over, uncomfortable places, all at once, too much. Like a a heavy, itchy winter coat in the summer sun. Her body started getting bigger, too big, too hairy. A gross beast of a body, one that she resigned herself to live in; she just wanted to keep sleeping. Maybe it would be better when she awoke. But then it started growling, a low hum of a voice. A foreign sound, yet familiar, an uncomfortable familiarity.

She felt confused, still sleeping, but now her dreams were beginning to warp into nightmares. Why am I like this? Why do I feel this way? Passively floating by, she still did well in school, had good friends, hung out with the other… boys. She felt unfit to be with them, unbelonging, if only in the back of her mind. But then she met someone, different and wonderful, someone like her, but more confident, open… happy. Her shell began to crack, and slowly, she began to realize the woman she was on the inside. She could be herself, beautiful and happy. And so she decided she would.

Author Nat Zahniser (Grace Metz)
Author Liam Browning
Hatred of the Mirror – Liam Browning

A Mirror is something that is shown again,

An object that repeats itself,

On the other side,

To almost an exact representation,

That includes you,

Every bit,

To the last scratch,

Every bump,

Every cut,

And every unseen wound shows,

The feelings that crawl under the skin,

They also gleam through,

The cuts of the past,

The broken organs,

It all glows,

The feelings,

The pains,

And the broken promises show,

It all hurts,

It all feels so broken,

It shows the truths of the person,

Behind the eye,

It shows it all,

Within a single gaze from a man,

Everything is shown,

Along with a second voice,

One of all the feelings,

Of hate,

Of violence,

Of revenge,

Gains life,

It takes those feelings,

And runs with them,

It speaks,

It brings you down,

It isnt you,
But it sure does try,

It might be called depression,

Or hate,

Or whatever name you think,

It will take,

As long as it does what it does,

It will remain miserable,

Along with you right beside it.

Author Liam Browning (Grace Metz)
Author Dylan Craft
Jazz, A World of Importance – Dylan Craft

“Jazz speaks for life…singing the songs of a more complicated urban existence. When life offers no order and meaning, the musician creates an order and meaning from the sounds of the earth which flow through his instrument” – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

(WCLK). Music is an important part of everyday life, but no genre has been as important and significant in the shaping of modern culture as jazz. Jazz was at the forefront of some of the most important social justice movements of the past century, the Civil Rights and Women’s Liberation movements, was one of the stepping stones for rock, R&B, latin, and other various genres, and helps to teach us valuable life lessons and skills. 

First and foremost, jazz’s impact on culture and its role in important social justice movements. Jazz music was at the forefront of the Civil Rights movement, it was “resistance music,” it was “the sound of Black Americans building something together, in the face of repression” (NY Times). Musicians like Charles Mingus and John Coltrane expressed their views and opinions on the movement, using their music as a “vehicle for the message of a higher power” (Liveabout). As well, the Women’s Liberation Movement was influenced by jazz, with “dance halls and jazz clubs” being common places for women to flock to and rebel “against traditional gender roles” (Medium). 

Secondly, jazz inspired the creation and fusion of genres such as rock, RNB, and funk. Influential rock guitarists with a background in jazz, such as “Jimi Hendrix and Frank Zappa” (Jazzviews), incorporated elements of the genre into their playing. “Jazz rhythms and harmonies” are found in RNB and Latin music, “infectious rhythms and intense melodies” (Copyright Alliance) are the foundation of Hip-hop. Miles Davis created some of the finest albums of the jazz-fusion movement, such as “Bitches Brew” and “Jack Johnson” (Sweetwater). 

Last but not least, there are important lessons and abilities that jazz can teach us. “I dare you,” saxophonist Wayne Shorter’s definition of jazz, says alot. A jazz player speaks “loudly and clearly,” they are not afraid to be vulnerable. We must improvise everyday, when speaking you “can’t fully anticipate” what the other will say. In jazz, players converse with each other, responding to one another on the spot. Finally, it shows everyone has an equal voice, everyone “gets a chance to solo” no matter their expertise or ability, “social class, gender, race” (LearnJazzStandards), etc.

It is a common belief that blues was the foundation for jazz, but in reality, jazz and blues sprung up at the same time, in the “deep south near the end of the 19th century.” Blues was characterized by its “blue notes” and “sad lyrics.” While jazz was similar, it took influence from European styles, “syncopation,” “the swung note,” and “improvisation” (GregTivis), laying a clear barrier between the two genres. With its unrivaled musical and cultural impact, all of this information points to Jazz being the most influential and important genre of music.

Author Dylan Craft (Grace Metz)
Author Jules West
untitled – Jules West

i hate being pitied

i hate when i cry 

while you stare at me trying to think of words 

that would make the

uncomfortable hue

of my tears 

fall from your torso.

i loathe when i am sick

and i tell you that i am so very hungry;

the hunger 

is the feeling of sand 

slipping through my 

hourglass body.

you tell me i am pretty.

but if this feeling

is one of beauty,

i do not want to be beautiful. 

is it too much to ask to be loved

without a price attached?

my body should not be the toll.

i am nothing more than my looks,

my figure.

i wish to be more. 

i crave to feel loved for who i am.

rather than what i am.

Author Jules West (Collin Crisp)
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