Gillian Chamberlin, a 17-year-old senior from the San Gabriel Valley, is one of KCRW’s featured poets for the Young Creators Project.
Photo courtesy of Gillian Chamberlin.

Young Creators Project poet spotlight: Gillian Chamberlin

Each day this week, KCRW is spotlighting the homegrown budding talent from the Young Creators Project, a community arts mentorship platform celebrating the creative work of SoCal residents under 21. 

High school senior Gillian Chamberlin is a poet, filmmaker, and musician. She says her words guide her craft. 

“I feel that all the different forms of my writing go hand in hand, but they all root from my poetry,” says the California School of the Arts, San Gabriel Valley student. “Whenever I start to craft a story, I always start with a poem, it makes my thoughts so much more digestible. Poetry allows me to be concise with the themes and details that I want to include in my writing, and is the catalyst for all the stories that I tell.”

Chamberlin was recently recognized by Young Arts for her short film “The Dinner Party,” and is gearing up to study film production and screenwriting in college this fall. Her first self-published poetry book, “Miss America Is A Lesbian,” is currently on sale at Stories Books and Cafe in Echo Park. 

Though she pursues many mediums of writing, she seeks to tell stories that are “consistently honest and visceral.”

Read her poetry submission “Darling” below. 

Darling by Gillian Chamberlin

I’ll give you everything, 
Ill cough up my pearls, 
The ones that had grown in my belly, 
I know that when I see them 
Will be stained with blood. 
And ill smile at you, 
My gap toothed smile, 
Ill spit them into your hand, 
And you’ll pat me on the head, 
And stroke my cheek.
Your created those little pellets of beauty
From nothing but waste. 
You threw dirt in my eyes, 
You rang my neck in the shower curtain, 
You counted the seconds as my head submerged in the kitchen sink. 
Inhaling the food that had clogged the drain. 
And when your hands loosened, 
And my head rose,
The peas and carrots clung to my hair like gems, 
And the air tasted sweeter than it did before. 
And just like that, 
A grain of sand had been forced down my throat, 
A little piece of your pain, 
And it sat in my belly 
Till a pearl 
The size of my thumb 
Parted the pathways of flesh 
And climbed out of my chest, 
Just to rest in your palm.
Oh I love you darling. 
I love you so much.

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