Drawing upon only a minimal 13 years of life experience, eighth grade Glen Este Middle School student Matt Chalmers has found a creative outlet in writing poetry.
Elements of both light and darkness permeate throughout his prolific poem collection; his poems are passionate reflections drawn from personal turmoil and discontent, sprinkled with themes of loneliness and despair. Sometimes somber in tone, the poems seamlessly mix adolescent angst with a modern and mature grasp of social commentary.
Chalmers’ prodigious talent was discovered by Middle School Guidance Counselor Heather Snyder and G.E. Gifted Education specialist Scarlet Meyer.
“Every once in a while, a raw talent like this emerges,” Meyer said. “Heather showed me his extraordinary work and I was introduced to his talent. In all of my years of education I have never seen someone as prolific and passionate about writing as Matt is.”
Chalmers started writing poems two years ago but only recently started saving his work. He writes from personal experience, savoring the details of the way he sees and feels things at any particular moment, he said. He writes every day, and has written 25 poems since Thanksgiving.
Chalmers entered the West Clermont School District two years ago when he moved to Union Township with his parents, Melissa and Dean Chalmers. Chalmers says that writing helped him experience the scary yet normal starting over transition period into a new school and making new friends.
"Writing was an effective way to deal with and work through my problems," he said. "I think and hope that others can identify with my work."
Snyder said that she was amazed with his talent; she was in absolute wonderment that he was able to turn the very difficult transitional period of starting a new school into something extraordinary with his writing.
"As soon as Matt showed me his work, I knew that this was something special," she said. "He is a prodigy. His poetry is relatable to people, from the young to the elderly. His writing is mature and inspirational. It shows a wisdom and a poignancy beyond the normal comprehension of a 13-year old."
Chalmers is pleased with the attention but cautious about making predictions about the future.
"I would like to someday get published," he said. "That is, of course, something that I am hoping for. We'll see."