We Rise Higher: Poems and Prayers for Graduates supports youth as they celebrate, commemorate, and reflect on graduating high school and moving on to the next phase of life. A perfect gift for congregations to give in recognition of their high school grads!

Poet, artist, and educator Joe Davis combines poetry and prayer to support and encourage new high school graduates. This collection includes:

  • Poems of joy and celebration
  • Poems of praise and affirmation
  • Poems for heavy emotions
  • Poems for growth and new beginnings

Each poem features interactive content that invites creative responses and reflection by the graduate.

Joe Davis is a nationally touring artist, educator, and speaker based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. His work employs poetry, music, theater, and dance to shape culture. His poetry has been featured on BET, CNN, and VH1. He is the Founder and Director of multimedia production company The New Renaissance, the frontman of emerging soul funk band The Poetic Diaspora, and co-creator of JUSTmove, racial justice education through art.  He has keynoted, facilitated conversations, and served as teaching artist at hundreds of high schools and universities across the county including programs in New York, Boston, and most recently as the Artist-in-Residence at Luther Seminary where he earned a Master’s degree in Theology of the Arts. To book, connect, or learn more, visit JoeDavisPoetry.com.


Here’s a sample of the book.


This Place

A poem to honor where you feel most like you


Place your hand over your heart, breathe deeply, and thank God for the gift of your body. What’s the most compassionate thing you can do for yourself in this moment? Go and do that.

Here is where we give you the permission you haven’t yet given yourself

to show up and be

your most authentic self

You can cry here,

you can take your time here,

to be you is not a crime here.

We are all divine here,

we shine brighter when we all shine here,

we rise higher when we all rise here,

we practice being kind here,

we celebrate the fact that we are still alive here.

You can make mistakes here,

no guilt,blame, or shame here,

there’s only grace here,

we know you by name here,

we’ve been waiting for you,

so glad you came here,

we hope that you stay here,

all that you are can be reclaimed and embraced here.