Bronx youth showcase winning poems in PAL 2021 Poetry Anthology

Fourth grader Amyn Gaston, who participated in the PAL 2021 Poetry Anthology
Photos courtesy of PAL

The Police Athletic League (PAL) recently held its annual Poetry Writing Contest with participants from the citywide PAL After-School Program.

Young poets and artists showcased their winning poems and art digitally in the PAL 2021 Poetry Anthology.

The PAL Poetry Writing contest ran from September 2020 to October 2020 and the PAL Poetry Art contest from Jan.  3, to Feb. 25.

The selected poems were sent to PAL after school programs in January. The participants interpreted and illustrated the selected poems. The artwork was matched to the poems and final decisions for the anthology were made this spring.

“We feel fortunate that our young participants were able to create anything of beauty this year,” said Dana Wheeler, PAL’s director of education and program development. “Their resilience and energy inspired our staff, reminding us of the key role our programs play in creating safe spaces for learning and the arts.””

PAL Poetry Anthology Andrew Santiago

The original poetry in the anthology featured Bronx students including eight graders JD and Andrew from PAL MS 118 and fourth grader Amyn of PAL PS 47.


“They go up

They go down

Some twist and go all around

Some loop and make a loud sound

But what can’t they do?

They can’t fly

They can’t cry

All I know is that you’ll have a good time.

Trust me, you will not die because I lived to tell this poem that




“As the weather changes

From hot to cold

We see the leaves falling

Amazing colors some are even bold

The trees remain until next spring

All we hear is birds sing

Winter is here until next spring”



“Green Sweets

Granny apple please

A green that is a treat

The bitterness of glee

Dripping from my puffed cheeks

Juice hitting my chin

Just don’t disturb me”

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