Anouk Yeh is a poet and activist from the Bay Area in California. She is the 2018 Slam Champion of Cupertino City’s Annual Youth Poetry Slam, and enjoys writing about her experience as a second-generation Asian American and Generation Z-er growing up in America. She draws inspiration from the poet Andrea Gibson, whose honest and often heart-wrenching writing serves as a constant reminder for Yeh to always speak her truth without reservation.

As the daughter of Taiwanese American immigrants, Yeh has spent her entire life trying to balance two seemingly contrasting cultures in one body, only to realize that different cultures and peoples have more commonalities than differences. Yeh writes in the hope that her poetry can help eradicate prejudices against minority groups. She hopes that her poetry can serve as a rallying cry for the unification of all peoples.

Yeh is an accomplished orator, breaking elimination rounds at the International Cal Invitational and Santa Clara University Dempsey Cronin Invitational Speech Tournaments. She has been invited to speak at San Jose City’s “Be the One” peace conference, the March for Our Lives Rally for Change, and Oakland City’s 2019 Women’s March. Yeh has spoken at events featuring prominent political figures such as Congresswoman Anna Eshoo and peace activist Ela Gandhi. Yeh is a youth ambassador for March for Our Lives San Jose, and organized Saratoga High School’s March for Our Lives Walkout. She is currently working with San Jose City’s District Attorney Office to create a gun violence prevention project for the youth. She is the founder and president of Saratoga High School’s Leo Club, a nonprofit youth-driven service initiative, and the founder of Saratoga City’s annual “Celebrating Differences” Special Needs Carnival Event.


ageism and the gun problem

by Anouk Yeh

 don’t tell us that we are too young

when we say your “background checks” are a problem

so don’t tell us we are too young

when we say that

the fact that there have been 345 mass shootings

in the past 365 days

is a problem

when we say fear in our schools is a problem

when we say premature death is a problem

when we come together and say that america’s sadistic romance with guns is a problem

when we lobby for gun reform

don’t tell us that we are too young

when we come together and support our brothers and sisters

at santa fe

at lexington

at seaside








school shootings that our NRA-funded government

tried to cover

tried to mask over

like as long as we don’t acknowledge it

it’s not happening

i wonder if it’s hard

to wear young blood as concealer

how easy it must be

to blame mental illness as the real perpetrator

to tell us it’s not the guns

it’s the people

tell us what’s traditional can’t hurt us

no matter how customary

no matter how time honored your guns are


they still kill


we still bleed when we’re shot

so when we are the ones

who step up and say to our fellow students


i don’t know you

but your life is mine

and mine yours


although i’m only your age

and our souls seem light years apart

i will do anything in my power to keep you safe

don’t tell us that we are too young

when we say that we are fearful of going to school

don’t tell us that we are too young to know fear

when there are people my age

who have already had to look fear straight in the eyes

stare down fear

at its 20 round high caliber bullets and semi-automatic switch

and have it stare right back

who know that there is something wrong

when the only thing keeping an elementary school

from becoming target practice

are thoughts and prayers

so don’t tell us that we are too young

when we come together to say that there is no hall pass large enough

to excuse america from its screaming absence on gun reform

when we come together

and say

that it’s not america’s mental illness problem

that it’s not america’s educational problem

that it’s not america’s cultural or historical problem

that excuses the fact that america has a gun problem

don’t tell us that we are too young