“When I say South Bend, I mean my South Bend,” says Lily Francis, a sophomore and young poet. Lily Francis is one of twelve local high school students who were invited to participate in 574 Stories, a five-day intensive creative writing workshop led by the South Bend Community School Corporation at Studio 304 at Main Library.
574 Stories aimed to empower young writers and share “diverse voices and perspectives.” Participating students studied literature, took field trips to several South Bend landmarks, including Studio 304 at Main Library, and wrote stories about their homes, families, and life in South Bend (South Bend Community School Corporation). Stories from the twelve students were published in an anthology titled, 574 Stories, and students shared their stories at a special reading and celebration at the Brown Community Learning Center in September.
Lily Francis, young poet and author of a few 574 Stories including “When I Say South Bend” shared her powerful story with us on social media. Lily Francis reads,
“When I say South Bend
I mean my South Bend
I mean the Public Schools Unite sign on that front yard
Pride flags and Black Lives Matter
I mean the Mulberry trees that birthe fruit for the summer
I mean the Morning Man on West Washington
When I say South Bend
I mean the geese
And I mean all of them
I mean the Taquería lady on Western Avenue
And the kids down the street screaming across the front lawn in swim trunks
And the white lady in early spring
Looking to see if the seeds she planted
Have grown since then”
These unique perspectives on life in South Bend and several other 574 Stories are available at each of the Library’s branches in South Bend.
- Garvey, Monica. “High School Students Take Part in New ‘574 Stories’ Project.” HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS TAKE PART IN NEW “574 STORIES” PROJECT, June 22, 2022. https://www.sb.school/news/574_stories.
- “SBCSC High School Students Launch ‘574 Stories’ Anthology with Public Reading and Reception,” September 23, 2022. South Bend Community School Corporation.