Tommy Scott Young | Conversations with SC Writers


Students speak with poet, storyteller and writer Tommy Scott Young.

Mr. Young starts with The Gingerbread Man. One of his secrets is to read outloud. The characters do not come fully alive without reading them aloud.

Mr. Young says he enjoys storytelling because the joy is immediate, and that writing is painful and hard work, and you have to think and wrestle with words, which is drudgery, but when it's finished, you get a lot of pleasure out of the finished piece. So both of them have the parts that are like drudgery and the parts that give you joy.

Mr. Young writes different kinds of poems including blues poems, but some poems are more literary. You start with an idea and work into the poem. Some you start with a larger idea and wrestle with it, and others, you start with an inspiration and just write it out. Some poems take a lot longer. 

Mr. Young writes more poems than stories. Some are easier and some more difficult.

The poem Penny Get Your Knife is recited. They discuss how dramatically it should be read. Mr. Young recites it with a great deal of expression.

Mr. Young continues with other poems. He says that he started writing at the age of 26 when someone broke his heart.

Mr. Young was hired by the S.C. Arts Commission to perform his poetry and then started reading stories to younger children.

Mr. Young finishes the program by performing a poem, "Chip on the old block, chip on the new block..."