The Story Behind the Story

In a little less than a month WITS’ annual anthology of the previous year’s best writing will be published. Titled “You Will Not Come Back Unchanged,” this anthology showcases students from all over, from all backgrounds, from K to 12. From Seattle to Kent to Shoreline to Children’s Hospital to Port Townsend to the Lummi Nation, there was some serious (and some seriously playful) writing happening last year. We can’t wait for you to read some of it, so we’re starting a little feature we’re calling “The Story Behind the Story.” For the next month, we’ll showcase a piece of writing from the anthology, along with a short piece of writing by that student’s writer-in-residence. First up? Gizan Gando, from Kimball Elementary School on Beacon Hill in Seattle.

Writer-in-Residence, Ann Teplick, had this to say about Gizan: “Gizan Gando is hungry for words that express beauty and truth. He is the writer who skips me to the front of the room when I arrive, 105% twinkle. “What poems will we write today, Miss Ann?” He is quick to squeeze into the front row with a smile that lifts him like a whirly bird. Gizan risks the unknown for a chance to discover himself. Each challenge is taken seriously.Writing is a venue that helps to sort his priorities in the world, which illuminate family, love, and giving.”

Please enjoy Gizan’s poem, below, and please come to our book launch party on Sept. 22 at 7pm at the Seattle Art Museum!

My Name

My name is sun

Always as brilliant

As a bright golden diamond

My name is river

Always rushing

As a bright-red fish like a sockeye salmon

My name is happy

The happiness I give everyone in my family

By playing games

My name is homework

The homework I turn in time

Like math, reading and spelling homework

My name is thunder

As loud as fireworks

When the fire is crackling in the night

My name is me

Gizan Gando


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