American Voices Respond to Vietnamese Children's Paintings
The Speak Peace traveling exhibit features 34 paintings by Vietnamese children on peace and war, currently on loan from the War Remnants Museum in Ho Chi Minh City, Viet Nam. Each painting is accompanied by one or more poems written by American children, veterans, and established poets.
The traveling exhibit debuted in Kent, Ohio, in September 2010 and will continue to tour nationally through September 2013. To bring the Speak Peace traveling exhibit or programs to your community, contact Nicole Robinson, Wick Poetry Center Outreach Coordinator.
together protect peace by Ta Thank Khue, age 15
—Heidi Hart Heidi Hart is a Quaker and writer with a strong interest in peace and social concerns. She received an MFA from Sarah Lawrence College in 2000 and currently teaches creative writing at Westminster College in Salt Lake City. She is the author of the memoir Grace Notes: The Waking of a Woman’s Voice and the four-poet collection Edge by Edge.
—Scott Parsons Scott Parsons has taught college and high school English for sixteen years, the last thirteen at Maplewood Career Center in Ravenna, Ohio. He is a former editor of Ohio Teachers Write and last year had an article published in English Journal.
a wish for peace by Nguyen Le Ai Nu, age 13
i want to be
I want to be your fabric
I want to be your pastel
I want to be your sun
I want to be your star
I want to be your friend
I want to be your bird
I want to be the clouds
—Shreya Basu Shreya Basu wrote this poem when she was in fourth grade at Holden Elementary in Kent, Ohio. She lives with her parents and younger brother. Her favorite book is The Amber Spyglass, and she enjoys science, reading, writing, pizza, and the color pink. Basu hopes to be a writer when she grows up.
children's wishes by Truong Moc Kim Giao, age 5
to return future's horizon to its true colors
children instinctively know
of blooming flowers
of bombs and hate.
remember from the deep
to meditate on the perfection
they feel hope streak the sky
—Jari Thymian Jari Thymian’s poetry has appeared in Margie Review,Broadsided Press, Simply Haiku, Ekphrasis, The Christian Science Monitor, Melusine, Verse Wisconsin, and Chicken Pinata. Her chapbook, The Meaning of Barns (Finishing Line Press, 2007), was inspired by a barn raising at Common Harvest Farm near Osceola, Wisconsin.
if i were the sun
I would float in thin air
—Leslie Shimko Leslie Shimko wrote this poem as a third grader in Kate Wally’s class at Seville Elementary school in Seville, Ohio. She enjoys writing poems and stories. Leslie was excited to respond to the painting Children’s Wishes, because she likes to picture herself as the sun and sky.
peace after war by Ly Nhgat Truong, age 14
all you see
Our soil is yellow.
Hand in hand, fingers tight around yours.
—Emma Cherry Emma Cherry attends Montessori High School at University Circle in Cleveland, Ohio. She was born in New York City and moved to Ohio when she was twelve years old. She enjoys all forms of art and music and aspires to be an author. After graduating high school she plans to attend Ohio Wesleyan University in the fall of 2011.
terrible war by Nguyen Pham Bao Tran, age 12
—R. N. R. N. attends Lurleen B. Wallace School at the Mt. Meigs juvenile detention facility in Mt. Meigs, Alabama, and is taking part in a program called Writing Our Stories, which is a partnership program between the Alabama Writers’ Forum and the Alabama Department of Youth Services.