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Union High School sophomore Teara Howard had her poem, “Missing You,” recently published in Torches n’ Pitchforks, a teen literary journal put out by the Oregon Writers Project. Howard wrote the poem in just a few minutes last fall that describes the pain of a breakup. (Chris Baxter/The Observer)
Poem by UHS student published in online book
UNION — The writer’s art is a paradoxical one for Union High School student Teara Howard.
She can pound out polished pieces of poetry and prose on her laptop in 10 or 15 minutes. Still Howard believes everything she creates is forever a work in progress.
“My writing (of a piece) is never done. There are always changes I can make to improve it. It always feels different when I come back to it,’’ Howard said.
The UHS student may believe that each of her works can always be improved but the producers of Torches n’ Pitchforks, an online teen literary journal put out by the Oregon Writers Project, might beg to differ. They have included a poem by Howard, “Missing You,’’ in the latest edition of Torches n’ Pitchforks.
The poem is about the pain one feels following the breakup of a romantic relationship. Howard, the daughter of Jessica and Michael Howard, wrote the poem in about 10 minutes last fall before later making a number of small revisions. Teara Howard remembered the poem a month or two later when Vivian Matthews, Howard’s English teacher, asked her students if they had any works they would like to submit for Torches n’ Pitchforks.
Howard presented “Missing You’’ to Matthews who sent it into the Oregon Writing Project. Howard will never forget the look on Matthews’ face when she told her that her poem had been selected for Torches n’ Pitchforks.
“She was more excited than I was,’’ said the UHS student, who will be a sophomore this fall.
Matthews said she was happy for Howard because of the effort she puts into writing.
“I was excited. She cares so much about writing,’’ Matthews said. “…She’s a talented writer and works hard.’’
Howard, 16, has had a passion for writing since she wrote her first piece when she was five.
“She has been writing before she could spell,’’ said her mother Jessica.
Teara Howard’s love of writing has continued to grow after entering high school.
“It is not something that gets old,’’ Howard said. “I’m always writing something.’’
She said that during the school year she looks forward to her English classes almost more than anything else.
“English class is the favorite part of my day (during the school year),’’ Howard said.
Howard hopes to attend Washington State University and study literature. She then hopes to pursue a career writing novels and mysteries.
“It is something I would love doing the rest of my life,’’ she said.