Podium claims to be the place where “youth take a stand,” and the sophomore edition of the local literary journal doesn't disappoint. Just-released issue No. 2 brings together a memorable portfolio of essays, poems, stories and art from Richmond public school students — a demographic that rarely gets solicited for creative input or civic participation around here. Even a recent live reading of work from the journal at Dogwood Dell employed professional actors instead of the actual creative young people. Is it any wonder that Richmond's youth needs to stand up for itself?
While the written words are often inspirational — with a theme of self-reliance revealing itself — it's the striking artwork that really connects and invigorates. Letitia Harris, Brian Armstrong, Isaac Bates and Jaime Vidal are just a few of the artists that distinguish themselves.
The Richmond Public Schools' one and only literary magazine has a different look too, worlds away from the austere appearance of last year's inaugural edition. In fact, it would appear that someone has taken a cue from such glossy pubs as RVA Magazine; this thing is art designed within an inch of its life.
But self-expression is the thing, and Podium is always worth a look, if only to see what Richmond's youth are standing up about.
“Podium” is distributed free to high schools and also available in retail outlets such as Martin's. For information go to podiumfoundation.com. The print version of Style listed an incorrect address for the web site.