Annie Evans has perhaps the coolest job description in the world: writer for the television show that raised everybody, Sesame Street. Since 1993, she has written for the U.S. show and “Sesame Street Live!” as well as for international versions of the show in countries ranging from Mexico to South Africa to China to Bangladesh. She’s also an accomplished playwright and author, with several books and plays to her name. Here’s a clip she wrote for Sesame Street as a parody of Mad Men, which is funny whether you’ve seen the original or not, but does contains a few references for fans of the show:
You’ll also absolutely fall in love with this clip of Annie and her husband, fellow Sesame Street writer Marty Robinson, getting engaged on the show’s set in front of all the staff and crew — a ceremony officiated in part by Oscar the Grouch:
But Annie didn’t always write with such a happy tone. In sixth grade, she won a poetry contest with much more sinister and morbid language. First here’s her explanation of the context and backstory, followed by the text of the poem pasted at bottom.
Won the Suffolk County poetry contest in 1974. Typed it from memory since I had to memorize it way back when at the awards ceremony! I was so scared it stuck!
Wolves is the title. The contest wasn’t just for kids, it was for all Suffolk County, NY (on eastern Long Island.) I remember the second place winner was a teacher. The tone of the poem is definitely dark. I was very serious back then about animal welfare (wanted to be a vet.) I didn’t really discover my funny side until I started to write plays and perform in musical comedy. I have a dark side still (don’t we all?) but I feel comedy is more effective a tool for teaching kids on TV. I just finished a play — a comedy about infertility. So it has a dark edge to it, but my point is to make it funny, since life is. If you aren’t laughing right now at the state of things, you’re weeping.
You can find Annie on her website AnnieEvans.com and on Facebook here. (I also appreciate Annie being the first woman to contribute on this website after launching with nine consecutive men!) And now, here’s her poem from 1974:
WolvesSlipping through a moonless night.Stalking up to a silent prey.Squatting down to make that deadly bite.A wolf makes its last and final kill.A fluttering noise shatters the silence.Fright is passed through the woods.Bullets shoot through the air with great violence.And in the end a wolf lay dead in the snow.Why did this have to happen?Man just taking a life like this?So another legend is confirmed.All enemies must dieIs man’s horrible wish.Annie Evans