Tumblr Blog

You may have noticed that we’ve been posting less frequently. While we love WordPress, we wanted to branch out and explore other blogs in an effort to reach out to more teens.

We’ve started a tumblr blog called “Petit Library Teens” which you can find at http://petitlibraryteens.tumblr.com/

We’ll be posting events here still, but if you have a tumblr as well as a wordpress, check it out and follow!

We welcome submitted posts and questions you might have. You can even submit questions anonymously to be answered by a librarian.

Hope you’ve been having a wonderful holiday season.



Happy Holidays

We hope your days are filled with festivities and merriment!

SAT Prep Resource

SATs are coming up. Though you might not want to think about it, sometimes it helps to be prepared.

If you’re looking for ways to practice, check out: http://www.onlib.org/web/databases/education.htm

Click on ‘Learning Express Library’ and from there you will find test prep ebooks to download and timed practice tests you can take. The Learning Express College Prep Center also includes the section “Learning to Write a College Admissions Essay.”

If you need help using ‘Learning Express’ you can call 435-1900, email reference@onlib.org or use the AskUs 24/7 service to chat live with a librarian.

Lily Myers “Shrinking Women”

If you haven’t yet, please email lgluck@onlib.org with your poetry submission for Young Poets’ Spoken Word.

As we count down to the teen poetry slam at Petit, we wanted to introduce you to more of the genre. This poem is called “Shrinking Women.” (It’s a little hard to hear this poem in the recording, so we’ve included a transcription below. )

Shrinking Women

Across from me at the kitchen table, my mother smiles over red wine
that she drinks out of a measuring glass.
She says she doesn’t deprive herself,
but I’ve learned to find nuance in every movement of her fork.
In every crinkle in her brow as she offers me the uneaten pieces on her plate.
I’ve realized she only eats dinner when I suggest it.
I wonder what she does when I’m not there to do so.

Maybe this is why my house feels bigger each time I return; it’s proportional.
As she shrinks the space around her seems increasingly vast.
She wanes while my father waxes. His stomach has grown round with wine, late nights, oysters, poetry. A new girlfriend who was overweight as a teenager, but my dad reports that now she’s “crazy about fruit.”

It was the same with his parents;
as my grandmother became frail and angular her husband swelled to red round cheeks, round stomach
and I wonder if my lineage is one of women shrinking
making space for the entrance of men into their lives
not knowing how to fill it back up once they leave.

I have been taught accommodation.
My brother never thinks before he speaks.
I have been taught to filter.
“How can anyone have a relationship to food?” He asks, laughing, as I eat the black bean soup I chose for its lack of carbs.
I want to tell say: we come from difference, Jonas,
you have been taught to grow out
I have been taught to grow in
you learned from our father how to emit, how to produce, to roll each thought off your tongue with confidence, you used to lose your voice every other week
from shouting so much
I learned to absorb
I took lessons from our mother in creating space around myself
I learned to read the knots in her forehead while the guys went out for oysters
and I never meant to replicate her, but
spend enough time sitting across from someone and you pick up their habits

That’s why women in my family have been shrinking for decades.
We all learned it from each other, the way each generation taught the next how to knit
weaving silence in between the threads
which I can still feel as I walk through this ever-growing house,
skin itching,
picking up all the habits my mother has unwittingly dropped like bits of crumpled paper from her pocket on her countless trips from bedroom to kitchen to bedroom again,
Nights I hear her creep down to eat plain yogurt in the dark, a fugitive stealing calories to which she does not feel entitled.
Deciding how many bites is too many
How much space she deserves to occupy.

Watching the struggle I either mimic or hate her,
And I don’t want to do either anymore
but the burden of this house has followed me across the country
I asked five questions in genetics class today and all of them started with the word “sorry”.
I don’t know the requirements for the sociology major because I spent the entire meeting deciding whether or not I could have another piece of pizza
a circular obsession I never wanted but

inheritance is accidental
still staring at me with wine-stained lips from across the kitchen table.

Lily Myers

This poem has been passed around quite a bit, because it seemed to strike a lot of people as powerful. In the poem, Lily Myers describes the tendency for the men in her family to grow larger and the women in her family to grow smaller. Through three generations, including that of herself and her brother, she talks about how this difference in size comes from something psychological, something that was taught differently to each of them.

In her family, the lessons were gendered. She learned from her mother, and her brother learned from her father. Though the poem begins with a discussion on lessons about food and size, it progresses to subtler things– being taught to absorb, to grow in, to make space, to accommodate, to filter, to apologize. Ultimately, these lessons have to do with feeling worthy of taking of space, of eating, of asking questions, of speech. The women in her family are struggling to feel they deserve the basics of human life and existence.

How does listening to this poem make you feel? For some people, these gendered lessons might seem to reflect larger issues relating to how genders are taught differently in our culture. For other people, they may recognize similar moments of not feeling they deserve to take up space for reasons that have little or nothing to do with gender. This can relate to unhealthy relationships, struggles with body image, anxiety about socializing and public speaking and all kinds of things that people of all ages work to overcome.

Let us know what you think.

Jesse Parent “To the Boys Who May One Day Date My Daughter”

If you haven’t yet, please email lgluck@onlib.org with your poetry submission for Young Poets’ Spoken Word.

As we count down to the teen poetry slam at Petit, we wanted to introduce you to more of the genre. This poem is called “To the Boys who May One Day Date My Daughter.”

This poem begins with a father addressing the boys who might date his daughter, and he immediately launches into threats and protectiveness, talking about guns and crawlspaces. The description of all his threats are comical, the tone a bit of a satire on being protective.

Somewhere around half way, the tone switches. He tells the hypothetical date that his daughter will be taught love and so long as he treats her well, they would never have any problem, that he would be ready even for death knowing she was safe with someone else who loved her. At this point, the threats fade away almost entirely, and the poem becomes much more about how his daughter will be educated and raised on love and will make her own decisions, and how good can come from them.

Then the poem flashes back to its satirical beginnings with the last couplet.

“To the girls who may one day date my daughter

My wife is a better shot than I am.”

Here he implies that, should his daughter date girls, all of the above still applies (his feelings of protectiveness, and his feelings that he knows his daughter will find someone who loves her and that if she treats her right, all is well), but leaves the responsibility of intimidating future girlfriends to his wife. A humorous way to express that he’s prepared for his daughter to date either boys or girls.

What do you think about this poem?

Phil Kaye “Repetition”

As the Young Poets’ Spoken Word poetry slam approaches, we wanted to show you a variety of spoken word poems to start some discussion on the genre.

This poem begins with the idea that repetition can dilute and erase meaning. That if you do something enough times, or say something enough times, it loses significance.

Phil Kaye parallels this with memories of his parents’ separation, and their repeated “I love you”s that have lost significance to them. With this, though, he weaves his own experience with stuttering, with being snagged in repetition. We learn of the large value Phil himself places in words, and for him, perhaps repetition increases meaning.

What is your reaction to this poem? How does it make you feel? How is he using repetition in his own speech within the poem itself, and what does it signify? Does it dilute or strengthen the emotional depth he’s trying to express?

Let us know what you think.

Sarah Kay “If I Should Have A Daughter”

As the Young Poets’ Spoken Word poetry slam approaches, we wanted to show you a variety of spoken word poems to start some discussion on the genre.

Some great things can be done with poetry on the page, and any reader of poetry who has found some e. e. cummings knows that the way form and white space works with meaning is a big deal. But, there is something unique and wonderful and untouchable about the way poetry exists in the air.

When a poem is read aloud, the tone, pitch, and volume of the poet’s voice plays a part. The pauses feel longer, more important, the held breath like a great pressure building in the room. The poet’s gesticulation and movement and miming can help to draw pictures in empty space while their words color the drawn shapes. Perhaps most important, the emotional content of the poem can be felt with a great immediacy, drawing poem and listener together in a feeling.

A poetry reading is a wonderful thing.

Here to start off our month of spoken word leading up to our poetry slam is Sarah Kay, who gave a Ted Talk on the topic. We think her poems are pretty fabulous, but we’d love to hear your opinions too.

(Sarah Kay “If I Should Have A Daughter”)

Young Poets’ Spoken Word


Young Poets’ Spoken Word

Saturday, November 22 at 3:30 p.m., the Petit Branch Library is holding a poetry slam. There will be excellent work and prizes. It will be awesome.

Poets: Come speak your mind through slam, spoken word, and poetry in any style or tradition! You must be under 18 to perform a poem. If you would like to perform at the slam, email lgluck@onlib.org with your name and the piece you have in mind. Poems should be under seven minutes in length.  Registration Required. 

This is an excellent opportunity to have a public reading and to get your name and work out there in Syracuse’s literary community.


Lovers of reading, literature, and poetry: Come see this slam! Audience members can be all ages, and there’s no registration required. You get to hear young poets read their work, getting a rare glimpse of this generation’s poetic voice. You also get to vote for your favorite poem!
All we ask of our audience is to be positive, supportive, and enthusiastic during the reading. 

The top three favorite poems, as voted by our audience, win $25 gift cards. All poets will earn applause and the respect of our literary community. 

So whether you’re a poet or just looking to hear some great verse, come on out on the twenty-second. Bring your friends!

Girls Inc. Media Literacy

Mundy Branch is partnering with Girls, Inc. to create a girls-only space.

  • Learn to analyze media messages and find out more about media-related careers.
  • Wednesdays in November (Nov 5, 12, & 19)
  • Registration encouraged but not required. 435-3797
  • For ages 13-18.

Star Party

Interested in space? You might like attending a star party

What? See the Leonid meteor shower and views of Uranus and Neptune
through astronomer Bob Piekiel’s telescopes. Bring a blanket or a lawn chair to sit back on and watch the meteors. ($8 per person.)

Where? Baltimore Woods Nature Center
4007 Bishop Hill Road, Marcellus

When? Monday, November 17, 8:00-10:00PM
Back up date–November 18

How? Register 673-1350

Writers Opportunities – November

Writers! Check out who’s currently accepting submissions. 

Adroit Journal

  • Run by high school and college students, publishes high school and college students
  • Open to simultaneous submissions
  • Work published here had been recognized in anthologies.

Canvas Literary Journal

  • For teens, by teens
  • Fiction, novel excerpts, poetry, nonfiction, new media, cross-genre
  • open to simultaneous submissions

Cuckoo Quarterly

  • Publishes poets ages 12-19
  • Deadline November 9
  • Theme: voice


  • International Literary Magazine
  • They read blind, so they’ll only judge your work, not your age or experience
  • Publish writers grade 9-12
  • Poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, plays, artwork

Happy Halloween!