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Jan. 22 - Deep Speaks to Feature Savannah’s Most Talented Young Writers Feb. 16

Savannah Business Journal Staff Report

January 22, 2020 - Deep Center will present the Winter 2020 Deep Speaks, an evening of creative writing and storytelling performed live by Savannah’s young people. Fifty-two student authors from Chatham County’s public middle and high schools will take the stage at 5 p.m. at the Yamacraw Performing Arts Center, 649 W. Jones Street, on Sunday, Feb. 16, for the Deep Speaks book launch and literary reading. 

Deep Speaks is the culmination of the Young Author Project, Deep Center’s introductory program that engages public middle and high school students with language and personal stories to help them grow as learners, celebrate their lives and communities, and express themselves with skill, confidence, and courage. Youth are selected for the program by a teacher at their school based on demonstrated need, enthusiasm, and dedication.The young authors featured at Deep Speaks were selected from their cohort by their peers, Deep volunteer Writing Fellows, and staff members to read their original poems and short prose onstage. Works created by all participating youth will be published in four separate anthologies, which will be available to the public for a suggested donation of $12 each at the Deep Speaks event. All book proceeds will support Deep’s nonprofit workshops for public school youth. The event will also feature free ice cream from Leopold’s, as well as voter registration and census information opportunities. 

 “Deep Center’s young writers both look into Savannah’s future and hold a magnifying glass to our city’s present,” explains Maria Zoccola, program manager of Deep’s Young Author Project. “The Deep Speaks stage is a place for dark and light and hilarity and heart. It’s a place where the powerful voices of the Young Author Project expresstheir full humanity, and I invite all of Savannah to come hear the results.”

All 54 Deep young authors appearing onstage participated in a rigorous series of after-school writing workshops throughout the fall 2019 semester that were taught by volunteers, who are themselves creative writers. Deep provides every Young Author scholarship at absolutely no cost to the youth, parents, or schools. 

Deep Speaks readers are as follows, listed by school. This list may change depending on youth availability for the event.  


Nhi Nancy Ngo 

Bryah Gillison

BriJon Jackson-Norman

Isle of Hope 

Brenden LeRiviere

Jamauri Hudson

Keira Whitehead

Miyah Horton


Amanda Gills

Aki Ito

John Everly

Charles Ellis

Campbell Tunney

Rose Ottimo

Maeva Gravel


Ayushi Patel

Hayden Carter

Shanya Riddle

Savannah Classical

Shaheim Newton

Kennedi Annieah

Kaycee Moore


Caden Murphy

Liam Shane

Camdyn Jones


Tyahnna Hill

Kayonna Mitchell

Saraya Chaplin


Alexis Farley

Angel Flannings

Kaleigh Sicilia


Chloe Hall

Pratha Patel

Melissa Wiggins


Shahada Haqq

Stanley Jackson

Nicholas Edwards

Godley Station

Simone Hall

Kat Slater

James Braet


Estella Leppert

Justice Johnson

Kaitlynn Hough

West Chatham

Angel Price-Montgomery

Kenyanna Glover

Jay Sheppard


Kymaud Newton

April Montoya-Sierra

Soleil Williams


Mariana Valera

Maria Monsalve

Giesel Hamm


Jennifer Williams
Amina Chisholm
Alyssa VonDoltaren

Deep Center is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that empowers Savannah’s young people to thrive as learners, community leaders, and agents of change. Through creative writing, cultural production, and art, Deep creates platforms for the city’s youth and the village of support around them, including their families and adult allies, to share stories, engage in debates, and make Savannah a more just and equitable place. Learn more at

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