Tag Archives: Kristian Edwards

Feature: Found Poems

Gandy Dancer’s mission has always been about connection. As the literary journal of the SUNY system, we feature art and writing from all over the state, from Fredonia to Plattsburgh, from Suffolk County Community College to Brockport. Our goal is to bring together readers and writers and artists. For a special section in this issue, we reach farther, beyond the state borders, even.

We are delighted to bring you six poems by young writers, students at Friendship Collegiate Academy in Washington, DC. In their language arts class with teacher Donna Lewis Johnson, herself a writer, these students wrote the following “found” poems; that is, they composed poems drawing language from a newspaper article reporting a recent shooting. We encountered these poems and Lewis Johnson’s article about them in The Washington Post (“D.C. students’ ‘found’ poems reveal their weariness with gun violence, January 31, 2023.”)

While they are not SUNY students, we want to publish their work and honor it, as it says so much about gun violence, an epidemic that threatens us all. These poems don’t look away from what is difficult or upsetting, and they don’t let us look away, either. With understatement and grace, they demand accountability, action, response.

Matthew Ingram


Gunfire killed one man.

Gunfire injured three others.

Gunfire injured an 8-year-old child.

Zahyr Canty

Pow Pow

A grim ritual repeated often

accountability for those

involved, turning to a word

used frequently as gunfire.

Kristian Edwards

A Wounded Community

Chief stood behind crime-scene tape

across four lanes of Georgia Avenue

rush hour brought to a halt

Gunfire killed a man

and injured a child

He recited the details

and expressed anger

He did so again

and again

and again

A grim ritual

he often repeated

He hoped the community demands


as gunfire generated headlines

and claimed children’s lives

turning said community

to a wounded community

Alayah Boothe

Bloody Violence

January 3rd shooting

expressed anger.

Stood behind crime-scene tape

across four lanes of Georgia Avenue.

An 8-year-old child, including

one man killed in the gunfire.

Gunfire has generated headlines and

claimed children’s lives.

shooting scene

shooting scene

shooting scene

behind the scene of Georgia Avenue

Antywon Cosby

End Gun Violence

Stood behind crime-scene tape draped across four lanes Georgia Avenue

the evening rush hour brought to an abrupt halt

Gunfire that killed one man, injuring three others including an 8-year-old child

He recalled sparse details of the January 3 shooting

and expressed anger

Grim ritual he has repeated often in his two years

Wednesday after two children and a man were shot and wounded exiting a metrobus in

Northeast D.C.

Contee said he hoped the community demands accountability for those involved.

Gregory Simon

No Violence Needed

The evening rush hour brought to an abrupt

halt by the hail of gunfire

that killed one man

injured three others

including an 8-year-old.

Contee said he hoped

the community demands


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