Dean Palmer award recipient publishes book of poems


Seventh grader Minhah C. has always enjoyed writing poetry. But when her English teacher Nicole Balin suggested that she apply for the Dean Palmer grant to pursue publishing some of her work, she never thought she had a shot at winning. But as luck would have it, she was presented with a $500 award at the end of last year to pursue publishing her writing over the summer. 

“When I won I was very excited. The moment they said the word ‘poetry’ and ‘she’, my friends and I were excited and jumping up and down!” she says. 

Minhah spent her summer adding to her poetry repertoire and with help from her dad as her editor and publisher and a family friend to design the cover, she published her book of poetry, A Smile in the Rain, through Amazon. 

“I use poetry it as a way to get out feelings I have. I feel it’s a great way to cope with sadness,” she says. “That’s why I used the phrase a ‘smile in the rain’. Like when you try and keep your head up when it’s raining.” 

While it took a lot of courage for her to share her work with the world, she discovered the excitement that comes from putting a book out into the world. She says, “I learned that releasing your feelings into the world can be very scary, but at the end it’s very influential.”

Minhah’s book is now available to check out in the Overlake library and also on Amazon.