Poetry by Chadron State College social work majors Kelli May Wilson of Elm Springs, South Dakota, and Stormy Lower of Henry, Nebraska, has placed high enough in a national contest to be included in the University of Iowa School of Social Work anthology.
"Writing gives me a creative outlet that is simple and effective. It allows someone to put something on paper that cannot always be expressed verbally. When you write something, you can analyze it and determine whether or not you want to share it," Wilson said.
She feels that creative therapies like poetry and art can be helpful to move past certain stigmas and ease the process for both the client and the social worker while still being very effective.
"I’ve always be a writer, but I didn’t realize how much it helped me until we were studying creative therapies. For instance, my grandma died when I was eight. I wrote poetry about missing her and why she went to heaven. Even at a young age, poetry helped me grieve," she said.
Lower said that when Rich Kenney, CSC social work faculty member, mentioned the contest in class, she was immediately intrigued and decided to enter the contest.
"It is a great outlet for so many emotions," she said.
The University of Iowa School of Social Work sponsors the national contest which is only open to students, alumni and faculty from a program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education. One rule of the 2013 contest was that each poem was limited to seven lines.
The Drive, the Desire, the Decision
By Kelli May Wilson
It’s a click in your brain or a life-altering affair.
It’s the desire to help others with empowering flair.
For some it’s always known, for others it’s more gradual.
It’s an instinct to comfort when life has been cruel.
Integrity is grace and compassion is beauty.
When others ask why, say it is simply your duty.
Social workers perform what is truly an art,
but the decision to be one comes from the heart.
By Stormy Lower
So difficult to know the shadows; the lingering despair-
To have enduring hope that people matter and that lives shall seek repair
Knowing the truth of those who wrestle in turmoil and in shame,
In a world that points a finger and often displaces blame
Through human spirit and roots of faith, character perseveres and holds strong;
To seek a new day, to know a purpose; to be loved and to belong
Those with empathic wisdom guiding change to right a wrong
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