Educational Services Center Waconia Middle School

For Alexis Stotko, reading is not something to just pass the time, it’s a huge part of her daily life.

“I’ll check out a book and read the whole thing in one night. I just need to read more,” Alexis, a seventh-grade student at Waconia Middle School, explained. “I love historical fiction, realistic fiction, and mystery.”

Not only is Alexis an avid reader, but she’s also turning into an accomplished writer as well. She’s so good that her poetry was recently published in a book.

“For language arts class we were in the poetry unit and I wrote a poem. I showed it to my teacher and she said that it’s really good and I should enter it in a contest. So I went online and found two different contests for poetry writers to enter my poem. It ended up getting published in both books,” Alexis said.

One of those books, called Upon Arrival, was just published. The second book has not been printed yet. Her poem, called “Where I’m From” is on page 236 in Upon Arrival.

Where I’m From

I am from the rectangles

all eighty-eight of them in a row

to the soft bing at night

when I know my siblings are rumbling


I am from the rounder cat

who begs for food at three

and always needs a good scratch

or needs a nap in front of the fire


I am from the slight pain

of spiking the ball

but still getting the point


I am from winning matches

to losing games

making friends

and losing some too


I am from books that lead me

to all the knowledge in the world


I am from all of these

but I am ready for more

to yet the future where I will

await it patiently


Alexis Ann Stotko

Waconia, MN  

The poem, considered “free verse,” is about her life experiences.

“The first stanza is about my piano and how my siblings play it, really loud. The second stanza is about my old cat who recently passed away. She was a giant cat and loved taking naps. She needed to be by the fireplace all the time.”

Alexis writes about volleyball, making friends and losing them, and about the future.

“The last stanza is about how I’m ready for more, ready for life.”

The book, Upon Arrival, is a collection of poetry from adults and children. Alexis said she was just entering the poem for fun and didn’t expect this to happen. 

“When I first saw the book I thought it was very fancy and there is no way that my poetry is actually published in there, but it turns out it was.”

Alexis plans to keep on reading and writing and, someday, wants to possibly become a teacher. Having a resume that already states published poet is a great start on that career path.