Four different voices, each unique, each lovely.


Amanda Symonds

I am from the hot summer days to the piled high snows of winter.

I am from sledding down the big hill from riding bikes down the big hill.

I am from neighborhood hide and seek, swing sets and pools.

I am from dancing and being the one in the group to always get injured.

I am from the broken house in the “perfect” neighborhood.

I am from the alcoholic parent household.

 I am from skinned knees and “be home when the streetlights turn on.”

I am from having my first child, learning to be a better parent.

I am from learning my second might not live in utero,

from “you might die if you carry this baby full term.”

I am 25, with the weight of the world on my shoulders.

I am a fighter, I am a believer, I am from everyone deserves a chance to live.

I am a mother of 2.

I am a survivor from a cancer ridden pregnancy.

From chemo to weekly blood draws and checkups. 


Where Thy is From

Gavin Kruger — Adaptation of “Where I’m From” By George Ella Lyon

I am from wrenches

From Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and the Bass Pro Fishing Isle

I am from the big barn in the back yard (Blue, old, it was an eyesore)

I am from the bamboo that encompassed the entire property

I remember as if I dealt with it today

I’m from Jalapeno Poppers and random knowledge

From Paul Kruger and Shelly Kruger

I am from fishing and hunting

From “Save your pennies” and “Work for it to earn it”

I’m from four-wheelers in the back yard on Sunday morning

I am from praying at dinner with the Fry’s

I’m from Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania

From Hershey’s Chocolate and Dove Chocolate

From the Disney World Monorail Pilot with only one picture in the cab

And the Financial advisor mother that was chosen for her job

In the albums at grandma’s,

Showing generations of family to live on in our hearts


Lisa Mellen Ben-Shoshan

I Am From

I am from Alice. I am from Judy. I am from Leah and Miriam and Anna and Bella and Estera. I am from Michigan and Delaware and Jerusalem and Ma’alot and Radomyshl and Warsaw and Korostyshev. I am from small towns which have faded into memory as they faded from the earth, as they were wiped from the earth in violence. I am from David as they honored a David who died by continuing his name. I am from Leo, I am from Pesach, I am from Henry and Abraham, from Morris and from Mordechai who became Max.

The people who created me did not all live to know me, but I know them. I write about them, I try to learn about them through the bare and minimal facts I can discover. I see the patterns in naming children after those who died, and I see the repetition of names through generations. I know the thrill of discovering that Avraham had two wives and that his son Samuel probably had a twin sister, even as his own children included twin boys.

I see the ships they arrived on; I see the child held back because he had an eye infection. I see the money they had in their pockets when they first arrived and I wonder how they managed to take that tiny sum and build a life that sustained not only them but also me, unseen, from their future. I see the apartments they crowded into, and I see the names of their neighbors often reappearing as their children married, children who played together on front stoops and in crowded streets.

And I see the ones who did not make it here. I am from them, as well: from Dyna’s family of eight whom I discovered one horrible night, who all perished in Auschwitz. I know their names, so they continue to live within me.

I see the threads connecting families over time spun and twisted like DNA. They are all a part of me as they live within my memory.

The women and the men who created me are all my mothers and fathers and their lines reach back through history. My history.


Where I am From

Shanice Keya

I am from a baby above

I am from a mother of seven

I am from someone who grows from her child,mentor,mother,father,siblings,grandma,friend,boyfriend, and the teachers who have taught me

I am from work that consist of long bus rides

I am from meditation 

I am from curls that change like the weather and grow like a seed

I am from home cooked meals

I am from struggle that keeps me motivated 

I am from april 2nd 

I am from 18 years of living

I am from Manchester where I take long walks and visit food spots

I am from being shy to speaking my mind

I am from breaking the cycle

I am from positivity


A Whole class from. Thankyou Pipestone, MN!

“Where I’m From” Submissions

Creative Writing and Poetry Class/ Pipestone Area High School

Pipestone, MN

Where I’m From

Adapted Brylie Uilk

I am from snowmobiles, from Skidoo and FXR.

I am from the snow under my track.

I am from the blizzards and the snow days.

I am from Snocross Racing and Makita tools, from Mark and Laura and Brendon.

I am from getting stuck and crashing.

From going fast to slowing down.

I am from the Savior who died on the cross for me.

I am from Minnesota, corn cobs and hamburgers.

From the first snowmobile my dad got to the first snowmobile that my brother got and the first snowmobile that I got.

I am from Germany and combing in fields.


I Am From

Adapted By: Callie Lingen

I am from ginger ale,

From Shirley Temples to tomato juice.

I am from the green roof,

Where I played volleyball against the slant.

I am from the rhubarb plant

And the hay bales,

Where I would courageously jump across the gaps with my three-legged dog right on my tail.

I am from sugar cookies and fruity Trident gum,

From Susan and Jeffrey.

I’m from sweet corn

And pumpkin carving.

From endless fields and indescribable sunrises!

I’m from dirt roads and the never ending smell of manure,

Where neighbors are miles away.

From the summer breeze

And the rope swing out front.

I’m from the old silo that got tore down,

And the new tractors we bought.

From the massive bins filled with beans,

To the wagons transporting the corn,

The bright red wagons that told me fall was here.

I’m from my ancestors,

Who spent their time in Germany.

I am from my Opa and Oma,

Who never fail to teach me new things.

I am from music and books,

Late nights and early mornings.

I am from time spent cuddling with my cat,

While reading suspenseful books.

I am from those memories,

Memories that will last forever.


Where I am From

    By: Jenna Boeke

I am from photos from life and death.

I am from the green, rolling pastures and windy, gravel roads.

 I am from the wild roses and perfumed lilacs.

I am from chili on Christmas Eve and prescription eyeglasses from mom and dad.

I am from the my-way-or-the-highway and keep your head up.

From I don’t know isn’t an answer and the world doesn’t revolve around you.

  I am from I will not fear and the Lord is my strength.

I’m from thick blonde hair and glimmering blue eyes.

From fresh-baked Christmas cookies and Rice Krispie bars.

 I am from late night board games and tv shows.

 I’m from German ancestry and scrapbooks.

Where there are old photo albums, lockets, and blankets.

 Black and white pictures of people I hardly know. Faces I never got to recognize

                        and branches holding up the blooming flowers.

Where I’m From 

Davina Darveaux

I am from watching the Sunday afternoon football games

Ordering takeout wings or making our own

I am from a family of athletics and engineers 

The holiday gatherings 

Getting bigger and bigger each year

I am from opening my presents on Christmas Eve

With the smell of corn casserole and green bean casserole on the tables 

I am from R&B, Christan, Hip-Hop, and Old Rock music

I am from a hardworking mother 

I am from a house full of pets

With a candle always going

I am from a cute little yellow house

With popcorn walls and a broken garage

I am from pushing myself to do better

I am from doing gymnastics, dance, and track

Always trying to keep myself busy

From reading, playing video games, and watching Netflix


 Where I am From  

Madison Purdin  (9)

 I am from an old farmhouse, from the creaky wood floors and the popcorn ceilings.

 I am from the small of newly baked goods that I always got after my first day of school, from warm hugs and homemade sweet tea on hot summer days after bailing hay.  

 I am from the big tractor  my dad made into a sandbox that quickly got taken over by cats.

I am from the many rows of corn and beans that surround my home,from the annual weekend trips to Okoboji, Iowa and the loud colorful rock concerts filled with life. 

I am from the harsh and wise words of my parents when I did something bad.

 I am from a big family where I am the only kid my age. 

 I am from hard work and sweat from the long line of Jerry Purdins, from tiny noses and strawberry blond hair. 

I am from the first day of daycare where I met my lifelong friend, from the many plays we would laugh in together. 

 I am from the ups and downs of life, the good times and the bad times, this is what I am made of, this is where I am from. 


“Where I am from” 

Elizabeth Sanchez

I am from oceanic waves,

From sea shells and salt water.

I am from the sandy porch outside my old home.

I am from the delicious plum tree in front of my grampas house,

The beautiful palm tree with a painted thick white strip at the bottom of the tree.

I am from the fun crazy family events,

And dancing like my crazy fun aunt and uncle.

I am from exercising outside in 90 degree hot humid weather

And coming back to my grandpa’s house for an ice cold mangonada.

From wiping my sandy feet before entering the house,

And always wearing shoes inside.

I am from a catholic household,

And holy church.

I am from texas,

Homemade tortillas and tres de leche cake.

From the jet ski flipping my sister in the air and almost drowning her,

And the tube my mom jumped in the water with.

I am from a sacred family picture my grandma holds in her closet.

Hopefully never ever to be lost.


Where I’m From

Adapted by Sam Spaethe 

I am from pizza on the counter from green olives and pepperoni.

I am from the lavender candles on the table.

I am from the red rose bush outside the house , the bright red pedals.

I am from homemade chicken noodle soup and family card games from Sandy and Jeff.

I am from the tendency to volunteer and to attend college.

From stop eating that and eat more.

I am from going to youth groups every Wednesday and Sundays.

I am from Minnesota , spaghetti and chicken alfredo.

 From the ponytails getting cut off , the red and black scissors and the pancakes on the stove. 

I am from the waterfalls , farmhouse and the playground.


I am From

Adapted by Jori Strasser

I am from failure.

I am from undereating vegetables and overeating ice cream,

From losing to my towering brother while playing basketball in our driveway,

From lacking friends and confidence,

From elbows beat up, bruised, and scraped, 

I am from mess-ups and insecurity.

I am from success.

I am from Winning basketball championships and acing quizzes,

From parents’ praise,

From compliments and affirmations,

From medals, ribbons, and A’s,

I am from validation and achievement.

I am from chaos.

I am from siblings shouting songs in the shower while I study,

And living rooms that will never be clean,

From my Grandpa’s offensive jokes,

And late nights watching Disney.

I am from imperfection and fun.

I am from peace.

I am from recreating classical melodies on the piano,

And biking along the Casey Jones in the warm summer breeze,

From AWANA verses I once memorized,

From gooey monkey bread on Christmas mornings.

I am from warmth and love. 

I am from failure and success.

I am from chaos and peace. 


Where I’m from poem

Morgan Thompson

I am from home cooked meals

From cheerios and ice cream

I am from the yellow house that reminds me of sunshine

I am from the beautiful lilac bushes

The tall pretty evergreen trees.

I am from good cooked meals and grandmas cooking

From mom and dad and my family

I am from laughter and hard times

From Dr.Seuss and Clifford the Big Red Dog books

I am from the sound of people in the church pews

I am from Pipestone, Minnesota, a very cold place

From bedtime stories, family stories and recipe books

I am from Lake Benton where most of the family photos took place 


 Where I’m From

                       By Macy Tollefson

I am from acrylic paint woven into the canvases.

I am from the ranch style house in a small town. 

I am from the tall beautiful trees, the lilac bushes.

I am from birthdays, and sparkling brown eyes, from my mom and dad.

I am from the late night volleyball and softball games. 

From manners and kindness, hope and thoughtful wishes. 

I am from Christianity and faith. 

I am from the warmth of the sun and the winter fresh air.

From fudge brownies and melted ice cream.

I am from the sunflower fields and the rusty swings on the playground. 

I am From 

By  Lucas Zupp

I am from South Korea where the border is in sight

I am from my messy room my coat closet

I am from the kitchen where spaghetti is cooking

I am from Maple Trees swaying in the breeze

And the scent of rose’s which lay back with ease

I am from the cry of kids screaming, dog’s barking, and grass swaying

I am from pear fruit, to brothers fighting over the remote

I am from the history of my past, teh white and black pictures, dust off of each one being still

I am from the clouds moving gracefully above

I am from the faces of past times the snap and shake of the camera

I am from laughing and crying, sadness and joy, anxiety and nervousness

I am from pollen to seeds which make me sneeze

I am from the breeze the flowing of water and children splashing

I am from trees budding and snow melting 


Where I’m from

Adapted by: Olivia Lapthorn

I am from the middle of nowhere, from a small town in Minnesota.

I am from where the smell of pigs and cows meets the aroma of homey dinner food.

Where no one is a stranger and secrets are not kept secret long.

I am from a place where each building has enough history to create a chapter book.

I am from miles and miles of fields and pastures

with kernels of corn so yellow they look like gold teeth.

I am from a place where dreams of living in the big city seem unrealistic.

I am from blonde hair and piercing blue eyes.

I am from the land of bratwurst and beer. I enjoy lefse for breakfast.

I am from strong personalities and opinions that can clash like the titans.

I am from a time where kids were raised by Hannah Montana and Wizards of Waverly Place.

I am from generations of catholics that fought hatred from others, from a place where God makes everyone family.

I am from a resort on Lake Carlos where sand volleyball can create tension that could be cut with a knife.

I _am from a place where food plus family equals happy campers.


I Am From

Kaylee Backlund

I am from a soft brown couch,from blue dawn dish soap and white striped rags.

I am from the short white candle on the kitchen table . 

I am from the birds chirping in the trees, the smell of fresh bloomed flowers.  

I am from gathering on joyous holidays and red hair,from hope-filled eyes and full smiles.

I am from packing in the car and going to the lake and building blanket forts when we were small.

From cut the mustard and love you to the moon and back.

I am from wooden pues and aged hymns.

I am from ancestors who sailed across the great blue to a new land from Germany, oreos dunked in white smooth milk and tater tot hotdish.

From the one dress my great great grandmother made for my great grandma  to wear on sundays,the old silo ,and the clear marbles that were once played with.

I am from the heavy old wood chest that stores memories with old shiny colored squares.Faces with smiles and joy.Pictures that make you wish you could be there.

I Am From

Jayla Kracht

I am from my old farmhouse style house

From moms freshly baked cookies and hand quilted quilts

I am from endless corn and bean fields

From newly graded gravel

I am from crisp country air with tall white wind turbines spinning in the wind

From the moise of tractors getting heavy work done

I am from so many familiar faces i have never met

From the reminiscing of memories from when they were alive

I am from the vacuum running all the time

From dirty farm clothes going in and out of the house

I am from the tall green grass in the ditch on either side as you drive down the road

From freshly ground corn stalks in the commodity shed

I am from the smell of antiques from my grandparents in the attic

From the worn edges of old pictures

I am from my one big happy family

 I Am From

Ian Witte

I am from the old white house by the Salem church. I am from the comfort it brought me when the wind was howling outside. I am from the hot meals made by loved family members. I am from the soft green carpet and the sound of drinks us kids couldn’t have being poured. I am from the neighborhood where our neighbors were miles away. I am from the smell of manure in the open country and fresh tilled soil. I am from the dusty gravel roads that looked like clouds after you drove them.

Winter is the time to hunker down and write poems. Here are two to end January.

I am From

Gracyn Dwyer

I am from lighthouses and hurricanes,

from Winnie the Pooh and Barbie.

I am from Dogwoods along the backyard fence, whose flowers brushed my freckled nose. 

I am from the little yellow playhouse and daddy’s matching workshop, 

whose corners I liked to hide and seek. 

I am from creme pies and game night, 

from Faith and O’Dwyer.

I’m from the thrill seekers and travellers, 

from give it your all or don’t do it.

I’m from I Will Trust in You, small group at 7. 

I’m from the Cape Fear and Cherokees, 

potatoes and ice cream.

From the heart that Mac received from Paul,

to the day that he grew his wings.  

I’m from harder, faster, stronger, 

run as one, work as a team, finish as a family. 

I’m from my brown-eyed girl, sittin’ on the dock of the bay,

dress up with dad and spa day with mom. 

I’m from a personalized home, a family of three. 

I Am From

By Elliot Tueller

I’m from soft snow, salt lakes, and singing

I am from blistering heat, baked, sun beams blazing

I am from picking from masses the few

And I’m from making the most with my small crew.

I’m from weekly meetings Sundays and Wednesdays

Ever since birth with churchgoers I’d play

I am from suburbs and indoors

Then to riding my bike in the outdoors

I’m from Night games at nightfall and sleeping at sunrise

Sunbeams fill the room, and alert my tired eyes.

I am from hardships and helplessness, I’m from happiness and health

If I don’t go with the flow, does that mean I need help?

Where I’m from many of our stories are the same

Similar expectations and a similar frame

Remembering too far back is both a joy and a pain

But my past is my frame, and for myself I should play this game.

Three new poems, from three poets, different from each other, yet alike in their inclusion of images and story!

Where I’m From”

Priyanka Vadrevu

I am from a place far from where I stand,

where my days are spent on “scooter” rides and cake is fed by the hand.

I am from playing on rooftops with fallen coconuts,

coming down to pray inside.

I am from colorful garments of silk and cotton,

and a home where two cultures collide.

I am from those who traveled across the sea,

with only a sleeping bag and two suitcases in hand.

I am from the hard-headed and soft-hearted,

hugs and kisses given even for injuries small to grand.

I’m from weekend carousel rides at the mall,

nail polish of only pink and red until I was twelve.

I’m from stories of animals brewing stew in treehouses,

burning incense of jasmine and sandalwood for me to smell.

I am from the purple wrappers of Dairy Milk chocolate,

spicy biryani on Thanksgiving.

I’m from stuffed pockets of almonds in the morning,

as I hum along to “You’re Still The One” — Shania Twain was always singing.

I am from flowers brought home for every occasion,

oil head massages,

a neighborhood of peace, quiet, and isolation.

I’m from failed Christmas cookies,

love from a sister through arts and crafts.

I’m from “Riya, you’re health is your wealth”

and evening strolls on the sand.

An audience of cuddly toys sits around me,

as I flip through my mother’s wedding album — in search for familiar but unseen faces.

I am from carpenters, athletes, priests, bankers, chefs, and engineers.

All fighters.

I shall always remember my roots, however far their places.

Where I’m From

By Miguel Villasenor 

I’m from agave tequilana,

with sombreros and charreadas,

I’m from corridos and norteñas,

in el rancho and el cerro.

I am from el norte, actually.

With “¿hablas Español, gringo?”

I am from the American dream,

getting tired on my feet.

I am from work hard and dream big,

And “mijo, hechale ganas”

I am from “!tu eres muy inteligente!”

And “No paraces…”

I am from speaking too Mexican,

To speaking too American

Maybe I am Mexican-American,

The byproduct of the “American dream”

I’m from biculturalism,

That tears me apart

I Am From 

by: Shelby Blackwood

I am from dusty dirt roads and wooden fence posts,

Miles between mailboxes, trees that touched the sky.

I am from mud pies and bare feet,

Sticky faces and freckled noses.

I am from rambling pastures and horseback rides,

Flying across the flat land, climbing cliffs, jumping creeks.

I am from sultry summer days, 

Baby oil and iodine, Sun-In and the Top 40.

I am from the 80s,

Neon colors, perms and cassette tapes.

I am from a small town,

Friday night lights, blood sisters and broken hearts.

I am from strong, proud ancestors,

Irish, British, Native American.

I am from Ray and Carolyn, Johnsons and Chaplins,

Oklahoma and California roots,

From the Dust Bowl to the Golden State

And everywhere in between.

I am from I love you and like you

and go outside and play.

I am from four siblings,

Jumping out of barns, volleyball games,

Laughing until our sides hurt,

Knock-down fights and a shared history.

I am from many before me

And many will follow.

The poems are coming in. This is so lovely with its detail and its memories.

Where I’m From

By Ava McPartland

I am from seagrass,

from coconut and vanilla.

I am from Poppies

from Barney and Bean,

the moon and the sky.

I am from long drives

in the minivan,

a car that seemed to last forever.

The music whispers

as I drift off to sleep.

I am from the basket of recipes

tucked in the cupboard

filled with stained notecards

and memories

of cinnamon rolls, candied pecans,

and grandma’s chocolate pie.

I am from weekend business trips

spent waiting–

counting the minutes,

until he returns.

I am from nail-biters

and nervous-wrecks

From overthinkers

and water signs.

I am from origins unknown,

a past lost to the tides.

I am from an ocean of memories,

a sea of lost faces–

forever resurfacing–

like a message in a bottle.