When celebrating the voices of young female poets, we cannot leave Sophie Paquette out of the conversation. Her work is avant garde and fresh, transcending traditional and established forms of writing. A self-described interdisciplinary artist, the extent of her creativity knows no bounds. Paquette experiments with different media, including text, video and even “up-cycling” clothing pieces into wearable art.
Born in Bloomington Indiana, Paquette is currently a junior at Columbia College in New York. Prior to college, she attended Interlochen Arts Academy, where she studied writing and was first recognized for her award-winning poetry. It was during this period that her poem entitled “I’m Growing Girls in My Backyard,” was published in Cosmonauts Avenue, an online magazine. The poem cleverly uses flowers as metaphors for girlhood, and addresses concepts such as growth and the focus on appearance in our culture.
Inspiring her community
Childhood and more specifically adolescence can be a very difficult road for many kids. Not conforming to the norm makes it that much harder to navigate. Using her art, Sophie Paquette displays courage with how she highlights rather than hides her differences. It takes bravery and confidence to offer your innermost thoughts for public consumption, but doing so brought quite a bit of recognition.
As a teenager, Paquette won awards from Scholastic, Bennington College and Princeton University for her poetry. She was also named a 2019 Presidential Scholar in the Arts, an honor awarded to only 20 high school students per year. She is considered one of the best new poets of her generation and continues to amaze with her innovation.
A bright future ahead
Ms. Paquette is an excellent example of why we need to continue to support female authors. Her unique voice might never have been heard if it weren’t for programs that provide a platform for young women of all backgrounds to publish their work. She joins other generational talents, like Alexandra Hunynh, that are being recognized for their creativity.
And to think that these young women are truly in the infancies of their careers! We can only imagine what that future holds for these truly courageous and talented poets.