Since 2009, an emerging young poet from Northeast Ohio is celebrated along with the winning authors at the Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards ceremony in Cleveland.
At the 2011 ceremony, Essence Cain, a sixth-grader at Miller South School for Visual and Performing Arts in Akron, Ohio, recited “In the Flower Market,” a poem she and her classmates wrote for “Speak Peace,” an international youth arts program created by Kent State University’s Wick Poetry Center. American children in the program wrote poems in response to paintings created by Vietnamese children. The exhibit of paintings and poems is traveling nationally through 2013.
Essence has appeared in plays and musicals at venues throughout Ohio. She was a contributing writer and reader for the animated e-greetings of the 2009 Traveling Stanzas series, Peace Stanzas. She has performed poetry with the Wick Poetry Center Outreach program at the 2011 Virginia Hamilton Conference at Kent State University and the Association of Writers and Writing Programs national conference in Washington D.C. in 2011.
In the Flower Market
Tiger lilies roar in the cold April rain.
Tulips seek friends with their spray of pollen.
Sunflowers flash in the night,
Illuminating the world like a candle.
Bluebells drip with dew—
They love just being themselves.
Marigolds sing, mango trees ding.
Orchids fly like birds in the wind.
Flowers from all over the world
Spread their colors like peacocks.
Peace is what puts them all together.
Here is a video of Essence reading “In the Flower Market” as part of the “Speak Peace” program.