ST. LOUIS, MO. (KPLR) – Aaron Williams has a unique perspective on life because of poetry.
'Poetry is an event,' says Aaron Williams the founder of 7th Grade Poetry Foundation.org. 'It becomes an event in these student`s lives. It becomes a snapshot of what they have to say.'
He wants to hear what teenagers have to say through their written words.
His 7th Grade Poetry foundation is a non-profit that sponsors a nationwide competition that allows students to express themselves through poetry.
'Then they're just blowing our minds with what they write about, the topics, the themes, the emotions, the feelings,' says Williams. 'Teachers are telling us they're learning about who their students are because of the poems being written.'
Now Williams is trying to expand his nonprofit passion through a painting.
He's selling this optical art painting from his private collection.
'So we have it being auctioned on March 7th in the afternoon at Sotheby's,' says Williams. 'All the proceeds from the painting go directly to the 7th Grade Poetry foundation. And I personally will match that donation.'
It's expected this piece originally shown in the Guggenheim in New York will fetch close to 60-thousand dollars.
The money raised will go to pay prizes to the 7th Grade poetry winners.
'The number one reason we found out that students want to write poems is that they find out their poems will be published in a book that will appear on the shelves of the public library,' says Williams. 'Now that we've expanded nationwide it will be in any library that the student comes from.'
'How does it make you feel?' asks Patrick Clark.
'Not as rich as the poet but pretty close,' says Williams. 'We're making a difference. I mean, there's so much more we can do. But now I feel like I'm doing something.'
Creating opportunities and giving voices to future poets nationwide.