Frequently Asked Questions

Why is it called the I Am From Project?

 This comes from a much used and disseminated poem by George Ella Lyon called “Where I’m From”…Writing where we come from captures our own story, our own voice, our own complexity and history. At a time like this, when our country is so divided we wanted to build a response to this division and to show to each other and to our leaders, that the variety of our lives is a rich tapestry, a  benefit to living here. Each of us is welcome.

What is the goal of The I Am From Project?

 Our hope is to gather poems—including spoken word poems—photos, music, dancing, short stories, prose poems, songs…. and any art area you choose—to build a collection of voices to show to our government and each other, that we are a varied, diverse, multi cultural, multi racial and brilliant collection of people in our country.

What do you want to do with this river of voices and images?

 It may be a book. It could be a scroll to surround the White House with our poems and voices, a gathering at the Mall in DC with our poems, our stories on picket signs, a quilt with I am From squares that we unfold around the reflecting pool. It may be that each state has their own action, their own project: a theater production in LA, a poetry marathon in Alabama. The variety is endless. Some have suggested an I Am From filibuster, others and I am From musical.

How do you plan to organize this?

We will start with responses sent to either Julie Landsman at or to George Ella Lyon at from there post the poems and entries that we receive. We hope that those who join us at this website will get ideas for their classes, their community meetings, their city hall gatherings, that will build a city, town, state, national event or events. We want to make clear to those in power that we support all who live here, work here, arrive here from many parts of the earth. The project and action or actions will grow as more and more share plans.

What can I do to start?

Look at the website, read some poems, talk to your friends, write your own poem, and send it along. Send your third grader’s poems, your college class response. Do a group poem with seniors, or a long poem with your grandfather. Write a song, and find some back up guitar player. We welcome all interpretations of this challenge.

Will you respond to my work?

You will get an acknowledgment when we receive your work and a response from one of us. . This is not a competition. We do not censor but we do not publish on this site any racist, homophobic, or sexist content. Our goal is to be inclusive. Let us know if you don’t want your work on the site. We encourage you to send it anyway to become part of an archive.

Send us your ideas for this project. We welcome plans, projects, ideas you may have to recommend. We want to build this together.

How Will I know What is Happening?

Under “What’s New” we will post new developments. Videos, events, updates will all be there.