Meet Teen Poet Annie Castillo
April is National Poetry Month. Here's a local poet you should know.
Most teenagers don’t swoon while comparing Shakespeare to Wilfred Owen’s meditations on the violence of war. But George Mason High School junior Annie Castillo isn’t most teenagers. “When I read Owen’s work next to [Shakespeare’s] great professions of love, I think, My god, this is poetry!” says the Falls Church native. Last summer, in recognition of her own work, Castillo received the country’s highest honor for young poets when, during a ceremony at the Library of Congress, she was named one of five National Student Poets by the Institute of Museum and Library Services and the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers. Her ambassadorship runs until August 2018. Who are her muses? Castillo credits past teachers, along with her 87-year-old grandfather, Jorge Castillo, who has often sent her poems and read verse to her over the phone. “I think [poetry] has been a secret passion of his all along,” she says.
An excerpt from Annie Castillo’s poem “On the Discovery of Dinosaurs,” courtesy of the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers:
I used to think of the dinosaurs who
became bones and shadow.
Now I think of the ones who
unearthed the bones
so time’s raw sunlight
could touch those ghosts.
For more information, visit artandwriting.org/national-student-poets-program.