UT students write poems to honor Zaevion Dobson

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Thirteen UT students wrote poems to honor Zaevion Dobson and bring solace to Zaevion's mother, Zenobia Dobson.

Zaevion was killed in December 2015 during a gang-related shooting. He threw himself on top of friends to shield them from the gunfire. Police believe the victims were picked at random.

Zaevion was a student at Fulton High School.

The UT students are part of an advanced undergraduate poetry class. The poems were compiled into a packet and will be mailed to Zenobia Dobson.

"I know the feeling of losing a sibling to gun violence, so to be able to give back to a family that's been through this means a lot to me," said Clinton Ricks, a junior majoring in English with a concentration in creative writing, who lost a brother. "Hopefully when Ms. Dobson reads what we wrote, it will soothe her somewhat."

On April 28 at 12:45 p.m., the students will give a public reading of their poems. That's happening in Room 1210 McClung Tower on 1115 Volunteer Blvd.

"Poetry is a small thing we can do. It's like singing a lullaby, or singing a goodbye song in this case," said Dr. Marilyn Kallet, the English professor.

Student Taylor Olson said that even though she never met Zaevion, she couldn't help but be connected to this story and write to his mother.

"I was terrified at first. Literally, the first thought that went into my mind is, this ins't my place, it's not my place to write this. I have no words to say to her. I've never experienced a loss like this," Olson said.

You can read the works in full here.