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2014 Youth Poet Laureate: Ramya Ramana

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Ramya Ramana

Ramya Ramana, from Queens, was named the 2014 NYC Youth Poet Laureate at the 5th Annual Youth Voter Poetry Slam Finals held at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts Center. She performed an original poem entitled “New York City: Dedicated to Mayor Bill de Blasio” at the 2014 Inauguration.

As Youth Poet Laureate, Ramya will work with the CFB's voter education campaign, NYC Votes, to reach young voters across the five boroughs, promoting voting and civic engagement at public events, programs and peer-to-peer engagement activities. Over its five-year history, the YPL program has delivered a positive voting message to tens of thousands of young New Yorkers through performances, speeches, voter registration drives, and neighborhood outreach."

The New York City Youth Poet Laureate program is sponsored by NYC Votes and the award-winning youth development organization Urban Word NYC, where she is a member of their Youth Leadership Board.

As a youth activist, poet and writer she has won the New York Knicks Poetry Slam that awarded her with a full scholarship to St. John's University, where she is studying Philosophy and Government and Politics.

Ramya gives back to her community through various service projects and plans to pursue a career as a community organizer and activist advocating for human rights and social justice.

To request a performance, please contact Chyann Sapp.

It Is Not Your Problem

Gum wrapper sticking to pavement.
You only eat mints.
lt is not your problem.
Door shut.
Little boy taps knock-knock. Keep ears deaf.
It is not your problem.
Food sprawled like unwarned vomit.
You already ate.
It is not your problem.
Desert stomach.
You live in tundra.
It is not your problem.
Stomach of empty cactus.
Again, you live in tundra.
It is not your problem.
Boy crying.
Childhood taught you that males don't water from face.
It is not your problem.
Boy curled like locks on scalp.
You straighten your hair.
It is not your problem.
Cigarette silhouettes gathered as shadow at funeral.
You don't smoke.
It is not your problem.
Lungs at graveyard marry structure of prune.
You only eat dates.
It is not your problem.
Hymens crushing and falling like raindrops.
You're not really a feminist.
It is not your problem.
Porn wearing child like, "I own you."
That's gross.
It is not your problem.
Dead people.
You're alive.
It is not your problem.
Politicians baking laws like crack.
You don't do drugs.
It is not your problem.
Bullets flying like Esperanza in chest of teenage boy.
You only have sisters.
It is not your problem.
Gentrification dancing in skinhead uniform.
You live in East Village.
It is not your problem.
White supremacy uses power control as man-made alter for Satan. You're Agnostic.
It is not your problem.
Authorities taking over and New World Order happens.
Do not vote against it.
It is not your problem.