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17-Year-Old St. Louis Poet Honored As 'Young Visionary'

Antigone Chambers Reed
Tiffany Sutton

At 17, St. Louis resident Antigone Chambers Reed is already a writer, actor and human rights activist. And earlier this month, she added yet another role to the mix when she was named the 2020 Jamala Rogers Young Visionary.

The award is given annually by the Youth Council for Positive Development, recognizing young adults who are working for social justice and making a difference in their community. The council is associated with the Organization for Black Struggle, which celebrated 40 years of existence earlier this year.

Reed’s project, Writing Through Trauma, impressed the selection committee with its vision to provide people in her community with a safe, creative space to process, heal and share lived experiences of violence. Making use of the $2,000 prize that accompanies the award, Reed expects to launch her free virtual workshop later this year.

On Thursday’s St. Louis on the Air, the rising high school senior joined host Sarah Fenske to share her passion for the work she is doing. The conversation also included pre-recorded comments from youth empowerment organizer Janis Mensah.

Reed, who is homeschooled, is also active with UrbArts and StoryStitchers. UrbArts recently named her a youth poetry ambassador. She’s about to release her latest chapbook, titled “Chrysalis."

In addition to discussing her plans for her workshop, Reed read part of her poem "You Ask Me About North Saint Louis" on air.

Take a listen:

St. Louis on the Air” brings you the stories of St. Louis and the people who live, work and create in our region. The show is hosted by Sarah Fenske and produced by Alex Heuer, Emily Woodbury, Evie Hemphill, and Lara Hamdan. The audio engineer is Aaron Doerr.

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Evie is a producer for "St. Louis on the Air" at St. Louis Public Radio.

Send questions and comments about this story to feedback@stlpublicradio.org.