Editor’s note: This week’s blog post comes to you courtesy of Latifah “Desiree”, a camper at YPI 2013.
YPI means a lot to me. It has not only changed me, but my life. I learned more about myself in two weeks than I’ve ever learned about myself in eighteen years. I developed a sense of self. I learned that I’m courageous, strong, and independent. Being a part of the creative writing department has brought me so much joy. I appreciate Sal Basile and Benjamin Weber very much. They taught me how to bring out my strong marks in my writing. I learned a lot from them about taking risks and running with a bold idea. I also learned how to have fun while writing something serious.
Whenever I was having difficulty with my tenses or solid words, Walker and Katherine would help me edit. I love how supportive and constructive all the writers are. Even when I get a bit overwhelmed with the pieces I have to work on, Nicole would always be there encouraging me. She would remind me that I’m doing what I love and as a writer, things like this will happen.
“The best thing to do is push through and make your work come alive; not only for you but your audience.”
Sharing my poetry at We Jazz and seeing everyone’s reaction warms my heart. To know that I’ve touched a place in you, revealing your truth, not only makes me feel accomplished as a writer but understood as a person.
I don’t think I could ever find a more supportive, generous, and honest community. YPI is my family — a home away from home. I learn to try new things, be comfortable outside of my element and grow into the young lady I am today. With the YPI family I gained lasting friendships, people I can always count on, and a state of mind. Wherever I am, I know that if I just put myself back into that state of mind, I’ll be alright. YPI is very dear to my heart. I found so many beautiful souls there and a safe space.
Jeff Ostroff, Robyn Lapenta Trowbridge, and Sarah Grasso have made us all feel safe and loved. They are such wonderful and caring people. I want you all to know that having your support and compassion has gotten me through a lot. I don’t think I could have ever gotten through that rough patch without you guys. Thank you so much. The creative and talented artists that attend YPI always make up a huge part of our family.
I’m the one that wants to be with you.
Deep inside I hope you feel it too.
Waited on a line of greens and blues.
Just to be the next to be with you.
Build up your confidence, so you can be on top for once…
so come on baby, come on over
Let me be the one to hold you.
YPI, I love you unconditionally, and I want you to know that I always want to be with you. I think you know why…because it’s not just a place, it’s a state of mind.