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Processing pain through poetry, McKinley High School junior becomes published author

Posted at 10:10 PM, May 06, 2021

CANTON, Ohio — A pensive KeVonne Wright puts pen to paper.

“I always wanted to publish a book, but I didn't know how to do it. The poems took a few months. It took like two months to write,” Wright said. “I really like to highlight emotions and stuff to make you think and think about your life.”

The high school junior eloquently expresses both the pains and the pleasures of himself and his teenage peers through poetry.

“Most of my poems are about overcoming things like depression, anxiety,” Wright said. “Most teens go through a lot of stuff people don't know about.”

Each prose is more profound than the last and every stanza is symbolic of real-life struggles Wright has faced.

“In today's society, it's hard to express how you feel,” Wright said. “Like very hard.”

Manuel Halkias is one of several of Wright’s mentors at McKinley High School.

“Strong writers bring themselves into what they write and authentic, genuine writers, it’s them,” Halkias said. “It comes through the pen.”

Wright’s newly published collection of poems titled ‘The Majestic Tales’ came to fruition through late nights, lamentations, periods of loneliness, and adolescent heartbreak.

“I’m trying to tell the stories of people that don't really speak about the issues and problems,” Wright said.

As a Black teenage boy, Wright knows iambic pentameter might not be the popular route for most his age, but said putting his anxieties in ink has given him an outlet to speak about oppression while connecting him to his classmates.

“I don't care if you think I'm a crybaby or soft,” Wright said. “Because I'm going to say how I feel regardless because it's okay.”

At only 17-years-old, teachers said difficult shared experiences molded Wright into an insightful young adult.

“You're like, ‘Is he only a junior?’ Because the life experience that he pours into his poems and the depth of the emotion that he's able to capture, it's really powerful,” Cheryl Bissmeyer said.

The rest of Wright’s story has yet to be written.

“The fact that he is able to grapple with those emotions and those concepts and then put them into words on a page that everyone can relate to is incredible,” Jessica Woodson-Moss said. “It really makes you think as an adult, some of these teenagers really know what they're talking about. They definitely should be heard because they're wise beyond their years.”