The goal for my time at St. Andrews was to experiment with various forms and techniques. The process of editing this collection was my way of balancing the resulting array of work. There are two "image poems" in the collection: For America and The Church in France. These poems are short and simple, and are only one stanza. The idea behind these poems is to paint an image in the readers mind -- which is open to interpretation. It's similar in concept to the haiku. The order of the poems is intentional, as are the pairings. I chose the title "This is Why" for the book because it's the longest and most abstract poem in the collection. The poem is the nucleus that holds the orbiting electrons in place. The common thread in each piece is that they are all a glimpse into my thoughts, experiences and stories; in essence, "This is Why" encompasses all of those themes -- this is why I am the way I am and this is what made me that way. I believe that a poem is never finished -- just temporarily abandoned. None of the pieces in "This is Why" are completed; each one is still a work in progress. The poems are all written in my unique voice, but are inspired by the exercises lead by teachers at St. Andrews and by professional guest poets. The final step in the process was to pair the pieces up with photographs. I often want to articulate things in images as well as words so using both felt like an extension of my world view. I hope that my project balanced the written word with the visual aesthetic in an innovative way. The photographs are designed to augment the primary importance of the poetry.
Sariel Hana Friedman, 16, is a junior at Crossroads School in Los Angeles, CA. She is a published poet, artist, graphic designer, and photographer. She is has edited literary magazines: "Dark as Day" (Crossroads School) "Lentigo" (the Bard Young Writer's Workshop) and "Dolls, Lolls and Know-It-Alls" (Oxford University Young Writer's Program.) Sariel published a photography book called "Hide & Seek" and this is her first book of poetry. Sariel follows the philosophy of Oscar Wilde — “Be yourself; everyone else is taken."