• The Magnolia Literacy Project

A Young Poet’s Voice: Ava Stewart

Updated: Jun 3

Brookhaven resident, Ava Stewart, a ninth grade student with a 3.36 grade point average, attended The Magnolia Literacy Project’s (MLP) Spring 2022 Poetry Workshop Series for Young Mississippians. The theme was: “Comparing a Beautiful Creation of Nature to My Mother and/or Grandmother”. Students from various counties in Mississippi participated.

During the workshops, youth in elementary, middle, and high school were engaged in lessons on basic elements of poetry. They received a template to use as a springboard for developing their poems. Afterwards, each youth was asked to select a bright, multi-colored nature sticker from one of three bins – one with flowers, another with birds, and a third one with butterflies. The goals were to choose a sticker that reminded them of their mothers and/or grandmothers and write a poem(s), showing similarities between the sticker’s image(s) and the woman (or women) they wished to honor.


The Spring 2022 Poetry Workshop Series for Young Mississippians was sponsored by The MLP in partnership with the Lincoln County Public Library; Walmart (Flowood and Madison); Angel’s Attic Thrift Store in Brookhaven; Bank of Brookhaven; Boys & Girls Club of Lincoln County; and Blackburn Laboratory Middle School in Jackson.


In Ava's poem, “Shades of Blue, a Butterfly, a Gardener, and My Happiness”, she honors her grandmother, Ada Pearl Black.


“Shades of Blue, a Butterfly, a Gardener, and My Happiness”


Sitting in my grandmother’s garden,

I see a big, butterfly decorated in different shades of blue.

It reminds me of my Nana, Ada.


The butterfly has a light, blue center,

And the ends of its pointed wings are

Deep, dark blue with lighter blue dots.


Nana has great gardening skills.

I love looking at her colorful flower beds,

And her fresh vegetables, which always taste the best!

My most favorite things about her are

Her love for plants,

Her cooking,

And her willingness to always take care of me.

Nana makes me feel happy.

The butterfly and Nana are alike

Because the beautiful, darker shade of blue on the butterfly

Reminds me of all the beautiful nights

I stayed with Nana while she took care of me.

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