Today’s winner is Ms. Simone Grace Seol, a trusted friend, life coach, and the one who inadvertently named the Yes-Project.
As a winner she doubled the microgrant funds and enabled something beautiful.
Here’s how it went:
In a Facebook post she offered to mail five ‘TOTAL SURPRISE GIFTS OF AWESOMENESS.’ To apply, friends had to leave a comment with their favorite poem by an American author.
It turned out to be a stunning list of poets — new and old, gracing the social media feeds all around them: Maya Angelou, Emily Dickinson, Shel Silverstein, alongside some modern poets like Erica Meraz (as seen in the photo above) and even a spontaneous poem written in the moment.
Winners were mailed a ridiculously large book, called the Oxford Book of American Poetry. (She actually bought the very last four that amazon had in stock and had to swap out one for a book of Mary Oliver poems.)
Here’s her charming description:
“It’s incredibly wonky. You would probably never get it unless you were a student taking a class on american poetry or if you were a weird poetry nerd like me. But it’s one of those books I own that I treasure almost as though it were a sacred relic. It is beloved by me. In this day and age of social media and sound bites and clickbait articles and cultural-wide ADHD, I think there’s something really special — almost subversively, defiantly fun — about a hardcover 3-inch-thick anthology of poetry. And my aim is not to torture people. With all of my heart, I believe in the healing and magical qualities of good poetry. I believe a good poem is like a blanket fort. When the world seems scary and too loud, you could crawl up inside a good poem and find sweet respite. A minute can stretch into eternity. If you don’t particularly care for poetry or aren’t sure what kind of poet you might like… Well, good thing you have a 3-inch-thick anthology so you can go on a treasure hunt. It’s a weird, unexpected, and unexpectedly intimate gift.”
Yes to comforting, blanket forts!!!