My name is Dylan Gilbert and I was in a poetry club with Domo and Mitchel my freshman year of college in 2017. When I started poetry club I already had a strong interest in poetry and involvement in the Ann Arbor poetry community. I was on my poetry slam team in high school and attended the youth poetry slam nationals twice however, I was not planning on pursuing writing in college. I came into my freshman year thinking I would major in political science and maybe write on the side as a hobby. Poetry club was one of the things that helped me realize that this was not the path for me. I hated my intro to poli-sci class. I did not agree with half the information I was being taught, and in a 200 person lecture there were only three black people. I felt completely wrong and unheard in so many of my classes. Poetry club was my moment of relief and my favorite part of the week. It was a space where I could write, read, and just sit in the comfort of knowing I was in a room where I would be accepted and seen. Domo and Mitchel we’re wonderful facilitators. They instantly made it clear through their attitudes and the care they put into their work that they were people who would respect us, respect our ideas, and genuinely want to hear them. Having a space to not only create but share your work is something that is so special and, as I realize now, so essential to my happiness and mental well being. Not only that but some of the poems I wrote in poetry club with Domo and Mitchel won me awards. Giving young people a place where they feel safe enough to be themselves and share their writing is something that changes lives. I know I will be forever changed and forever grateful to what poetry club and my teachers did for me.
Be sure to check out some of Dylan's amazing published works with this link below: