Inside the Writer’s Head: Youth Leading Through Literature: Rimel Kamran and Michael Thompson

Written by Pauletta Hansel, Writer-in-Residence, Cincinnati & Hamilton County Public Library

Our 2022 Writer-in-Residence, Pauletta Hansel, is a poet, memoirist, teacher, and editor. Attend her upcoming workshops and writers' office hours. And, listen to her as host of CHPL's "Inside the Writer's Head" podcast.

In this episode of “Inside the Writer’s Head,” I interview two young poets who are already impacting society through their art.

Rimel Kamran is Cincinnati’s first Youth Poet Laureate, hosted locally by Wordplay Cincy. She is a senior at the Summit Country Day School with a passion for poetry and people. Her poetry aims to build community, celebrate diversity, and share her Pakistani-American identity. Listen as Rimel discusses the role of poetry in connecting humanity, and her intent to combine medicine and poetry as she moves into the next stage of her life.

“How language means story, and story means listen, and to listen means to change, and to change is to grow.” from Ode the Melancholy by Rimel Kamran.

Michael Thompson is a recent graduate of Thomas More University whose current work has found him using painting, journalism, and poetry in his multi-year project, "Sanctuaries." Michael is a TEDx speaker, an artist-in-residence at the Cincinnati Art Museum and Contemporary Arts Center, and a former resident at Cincinnati Shakespeare Company. He’s even created some community events at CHPL as part of his residency at the Contemporary Arts Center. Michael discusses his current big work, including his participation in Blink, and his even bigger hopes for the future.

“There is no reverence more serene than that exists in the silent conversations of people who do not know one another but who know how to love.” From To Love a Stranger; For Mary Oliver by Michael Thompson.

Listen in as Rimel and Michael read their poetry and discuss with me their work as artists and as activists for true connection within diversity.

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