Otter Jung-Allen Capstone

Learn all about the Voices of the East Coast Project!

A global poetry competition that I have competed for and won before, Brave New Voices, refused to randomize bouts in 2016, and made all of the East Coast cities compete against each other. This meant that the predominantly Black and brown teams, such as Atlanta, Hampton Roads, Philly, and DC, were forced to cancel each other out in order to try and make it to finals. This has not been the first time cities on the East Coast have been marginalized while those in charge claimed they were pushing “diversity”. So I wanted to do my part to give visibility to the people I knew deserved it. After coordinating extensively with Yolanda Wisher, Philadelphia’s Poet Laureate, and Lindsay Tucker So, Philadelphia’s Youth Poet Laureate official administrator, and drawing of multiple budget drafts, we decided to have each city submit to an online form. The entries would be from 14-19 years old poets from the respective cities, and the judges would be the Youth Poet Laureates. After the deadline, the winners would be compiled into an inclusive anthology, published by Penmanship Books. Each city had between 3-9 poems for their section, and each YPL wrote their own introduction for their city’s part of the book. I wrote an introduction for the entire book. Publication is expected to happen before June.
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Screenshot 2017-05-19 at 12.11.20 PM

Otter Jung-Allen

Annotated Bibliography, Capstone Project

Ameer, Justice. Queer of Faith. N.p.: WusGood Magazine, n.d. Print.

Before the initial Capstone research process began, Mr. Kay gave this book as a gift from a feature he attended in October. Justice Ameer, the author, is a non binary Black trans person who writes prolifically concerning their gender and the way in which their body’s presentation, appearance, and sense of constant change interact with the world and people around them. This book improved the chapbook being constructed for this Capstone because its language, imagery, and consequent impacts on its reader gave this chapbook a better sense of minimality and emotional honesty. Finding similarities between the experiences and feelings of Ameer’s poetry and that of the poetry involved in this project, it was a learning experience to annotate the book in order to learn from it.

Browne, Mahogany L. Smudge. Minneapolis, MN: Button Poetry/Exploding Pinecone Press, 2015. Print.

This book of poetry represents a different style of writing than the chapbooks that are commonly published by American media. Mahogany L. Browne is known for her storytelling nature and understandable language onstage, but Smudge reflects these qualities along with frequent utilization of abnormal sentence structure, punctuation, and spacing choices. When annotating this chapbook in pencil, this Capstone project will cherry pick the best options made in Browne’s writing in order to experiment further with the design and language of its poetry. Risks are made to be taken within art, and this chapbook reflects better than any other how effective, impactful, and unique it can be when an author takes them without hesitation or reserve.

Davis, Kai. Music & Marrow. Philadelphia, PA: 2 Pens & Lint, 2012. Print.

Kai Davis is an American poet who has won many various accolades for their poetry and performative art, and both their stage presence and literary expertise has driven the backbone of this Capstone’s chapbook project. This particular work describes love, relationships, and depression from the point of view of a queer woman. The writing exercises simplicity and straightforwardness in order to cut right to the reader’s emotional boundaries. The personal, and often political, tone of the chapbook gave this Capstone project some insight into how an author picks apart feelings in order to make the experiences of having them both relatable and non condescending. Davis speaks to a large, general audience. Her poetry connects to not only those who understand, but also those who earn an understanding through reading her work. This is the tone that this Capstone chapbook is working toward.

Hartley, Marsden. “The Business of Poetry.” Poetry, vol. 15, no. 3, 1919, pp. 152–158.

This source directly connects the poetry aspect to business and how they connect in mass media. This concludes how art overall can affect business to change in order for art to assimilate into the field. This also dissects which types of poetry do best in business with humor, personal story, or shame. By weighing out what poems are most personal, most humorous, and most experimental, the book will be an outlier in what is needed in the industry. This reveals what will do better in business and in the world of poetry. It also compares how the business side of poetry may be different from history and the present. This concludes with predictions about the future of poetry and business.

"Home." Philly Youth Poetry Movement. N.p., n.d. Web. 03 Feb. 2017. <>.

Philly Youth Poetry Movement helped with leading youth poets in weekly slams to ensure that they get used to writing and writing better. Workshops target certain aspects of writing tools to build on to the poets abilities. By using the weekly workshops, each poet can build on what it takes to become a better writer and performer, all in all, becoming a better slam poet. This site helps organize a timeline of when and where each event takes place in order to navigate a more communicative process for poets. This has made it possible for all Philadelphia poets to come to this safe space in order to become an overall better person.

Kaur, Rupi. Milk and honey. Kansas City, MO: Andrews McMeel Publishing, 2015. Print.

The book's layout shows how creative a best selling book can look. To get a more unique book, the anthology will include a similar or a different type of creative layout to show a variety of ways poems can be displayed in a book. This book is different from the other sources because this source will be used to show how a popular book differentiates from other conventional books. This can be used in the project to find different outlets of formatting the book. The book itself can combine different outlets of art while also focusing on poetry by making it a combination and making the art connect to the poetry instead of letting it be its own dynamic.

Kay, Sarah, and Sophia Janowitz. No Matter the Wreckage: Poems. Austin, TX: Write Bloody Publishing, America's Independent Press, 2014. Print.

Sarah Kay is an American poet who created this debut chapbook of poems near the beginning of her career. Her poetry contains a wide range of exploring who Kat is as a girlfriend, lover, and friend, and how her relationships with both her religion and her partners affect her mental well being and the rest of her life. Many of her poems are cautionary or hypothetical, speaking directly in open letter format to future boyfriends or friends. She speaks to her readers in order for them to relate to her. It is raw in the sense of opening up to the world. This Capstone project needs to be similarly vulnerable and real to its audience just as Sarah Kay.

NEW-GENERATION AFRICAN POETS: a chapbook box set. Place of publication not identified: AKASHIC, 2017. Print.

New Generation African Poets is a box set of chapbooks, compiling the individual works of eight African poets. The set gives an introduction to each poet and what they have created and contributed to the anthology. They tell the story of the wonders of different countries and cultures within the continent of Africa and bring the poetry in Africa into the commonplace world literature of today. The Voices of the East Coast Anthology being created in this Capstone will include a diverse tone from many different voices from many different places, just like the ones in this box set. Poetry should be always encompass a well rounded amount of perspectives, and the anthology being compiled for this Capstone will use this box set as an exemplary model for that purpose.

Penmanship Books RSS. N.p., n.d. Web. 03 Feb. 2017. <>.

This website is an organized publishing service to ensure people can publish all types of books for all types of people. This is the service that will publish The Voices of The East Coast anthology. In order for all of the cities to contribute poets and poems, this service will ensure all publishing rights in order for this anthology to be made. This company was made because of the idea that poets have problem with publishing rights. The creator, Mahogany L. Browne, intended on making this to help any and all poets. This project will be published by Penmanship Books to ensure that people know more about both Penmanship Books and Youth Poet Laureate Otter Jung Allen.

Waheed, Nayyirah. Salt. San Bernardino, CA: Nayyirah Waheed, 2013. Print.

Nayyirah Waheed is a well known page poet because of her frequently posted poetry excerpts on social media, particularly Instagram. She is a safe and non controversial poet because of her dedication to bite size pieces of art, usually concerning love, relationships, and sex, that can be shared easily. This chapbook is one of her most popular books, unlike the other chapbooks listed, which are more underground or socially shared by word of mouth instead of online or by businesses. This chapbook’s immediate marketability is a skill needed by this Capstone project’s chapbook because without a certain amount of mass attention, it will not be able to share its art with the rest of the world or raise money for future artistic or poetic endeavours to follow.