Prestigious author visits OPRF in celebration of Black History Month


The Black Leaders Union sponsored an African American Read-in in celebration of Black History month. 

On Feb. 27 Kayla Ancrum, an author and poet, came to Oak Park and River Forest High School to read some of her 2017 book “The Wicker King”. 

Her book follows two kids, one struggling with a physical illness, and the other a mental illness. “I designed the book to be read one way by one group of people and read another way by another,” said Ancrum. Ancrum aims to be able to have people struggling with either of these to be able to relate to her work.

Ancrum regularly talks to students about her work and the process of becoming a published author. “It’s very fun. I get to meet kids and they’re all interesting and funny. With a lot of adult stuff they’re very serious, very academically demanding,” said Ancrum. 

Although Ancrum’s poetry is frequently under the genres of Thrillers or LGBTQ+ fiction, the influence of her culture can still be seen in her work. “The towns that I write about are very multicultural, working class, it’s a rural Michigan town,” said Ancrum, “So I think that a lot of the life experiences of my characters are familiar and comfortable with struggles in my community.”