By Cindy Adams

There are proud students and educators at Wytheville Minnick School. April is National Poetry Month, and we have five good reasons to celebrate – namely Hunter, Noah, Robert, Shane and Tanner! Each of these students’ works was selected for publication in Empowered – Words from Within, an annual book of student poems. The criteria editors use to sort the 5,000 entries is imagination, creativity, expression, originality, and use of language. They said this year’s standard has been "fantastic." The goals of the Young Writer’s program are to promote passionate, confident writers and to give them a real audience and purpose for their work.

"The students at Wytheville Minnick have really embraced poetry," said Mandi Funkhouser, English teacher. "Many of these students struggle to express themselves verbally. Whether this is due to past traumas or disabilities, it's difficult for them to articulate how they feel. The students were able to find their voice in their poems. For the staff at Minnick, we have all enjoyed reading their poetry, we value the trust displayed in allowing us to share their feelings, but most of all we have loved seeing their eyes light up with success!"   

Empowered – Words from Within will be published July 31, 2022.


"The poet is the priest of the invisible." Wallace Stevens