Poet Sophie Kim ’19 visited the middle school campus to answer questions and discuss poetry with Harvard-Westlake (HW) middle school students on Jan. 15. Students from grades seven through nine gathered in the Katzenberg Black Box Theater to listen to Sophie and participate in a Q & A. This visit was fitting, as ninth grade students are currently working on a poetry unit in their English classes. Kim answered questions regarding her poems and her life as a high school student while managing her poetry work. Kim is the Los Angeles County Youth Poet Laureate and has had her work published in various magazines and online publications. She is currently working on an original book featuring her work and will attend Harvard University in the fall of 2019.
Kim was asked about the writing process and inspiration and read some of her poetry. Kimexplained that she is inspired to write about events from newsworthy events across the nation, such as the Pulse Nightclub shooting, and writes whatever is on her mind. She also mentioned poetry classes and opportunities she takes to prepare her for writing her award-winning poems. She added that she tries to balance the tragic events she has written about by adding positive phrases to her poems.
One of her most well-known works is “Playas de Tijuana,” a poem about families being separated at the U.S./ Mexico border. This poem also has a corresponding video, produced and directed by Kim. Kim is not only a poet and a HW student, but is also a passionate filmmaker, playwright and activist, as well. Kim’s visit to the middle School helped introduce students to her work and informed them about what it’s like to be a HW student/Laureate poet at the same time. To learn more about Sophie and her work, visit her website at http://www.thesophiekim.com.