Annual Teaching and Poetry Symposium in August

Casa-De-Maria-14The 2013 CPITS TEACHING AND POETRY SYMPOSIUM will take place at the  Casa de Maria Retreat Center, Santa Barbara, August 23-24-25, 2013. Workshops will be led by award-winning poet Laure-Anne Bosselaar who is the author of A New Hunger (Ausable Press, 2007), Small Gods of Grief (2001), which won the Isabella Gardner Prize for Poetry, and The Hour Between Dog and Wolf (1997). Her poems have also appeared in Ploughshares, The Washington Post, AGNI, and Harvard Review, as well as in numerous anthologies. Poetry performances will feature Laure-Anne Bosselaar and California Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera, who will also deliver the Keynote Address.  Workshops on poetic craft, teaching strategies, open mic, and more will make this a weekend to remember. To sign up email info@cpits.org or follow CPITS on Facebook to get the latest program details.

 

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WritersCorps Announces Winners in Poetry Video Competition

jayraj-highres1On Saturday, April 13, WritersCorps held the third annual Poetry Projection Project, a festival of short films inspired by youth poems, at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco. Poetry Projection Project was emceed by WritersCorps teaching artist, Anhvu Buchanan, or “Mr. B,” as he’s known by his students. The audience enjoyed a reading by four WritersCorps poets– Haley, Nicole, Senobia, and Melissa– followed by a screening of short films.

Special guest juror H.P. Mendoza, an award-winning San Francisco-based filmmaker (”Colma: The Musical,” and “I Am a Ghost”), praised the work of the filmmakers and poets before announcing the winners of the festival:

City Boy” by Jayraj Govender, featuring his own poem.

The Girl with the Birds” by Reel Grrls students, featuring their own poem.

One of the finalists shown at the festival was created by students from WITS Houston in a collaborative project with Aurora Picture Show. You can watch the rest of the selected festival films here and view photos of the event by Cole Anetsberger here

As an organization employing professional writers and teaching creative writing to underserved youth, WritersCorps forges a strong connection to the city’s arts scene.WritersCorps a joint project of the San Francisco Public Library and the San Francisco Arts Commission and has helped nearly 18,000 youth from neighborhoods throughout San Francisco improve their literacy and increase their desire to learn. WritersCorps creates award-winning publications, produce local and national events, and are part of a national alliance with sites in the Bronx and Washington, D.C. In 2010, WritersCorps was honored with the National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award from the White House, presented by First Lady Michelle Obama.

Teachers and Writers Launches the Digital Resource Center

Teachers and Writers Collaborative Digital Resource Center

The WITS Alliance welcomes the very much needed Digital Resource Center to the Internet. It is an online repository of lesson plans designed by writers for teachers and writers. Access to these materials is FREE.

Teachers & Writers Collaborative in New York has led this project, raising funds from Bloomberg Philanthropies and the National Endowment for the Arts. Currently the resources made available by the site include materials from the extensive Teachers & Writers archives, several decades of book publications and magazine articles. In the coming year, member organizations of the WITS Alliance will help build the collection by adding their best lessons. According to Amy Swauger, the Executive Director of Teachers & Writers, “The Digital Resource Center grew out of our desire to give new audiences easy access to T&W’s 45 years of print resources. We are delighted to work with our colleagues in the WITS Alliance to add materials from other organizations to this new database, which we believe will be of value to both existing programs and to those just starting to send writers to teach in K-12 schools.”

WritersCorps Rocks Litquake

CAnetsberger_LitQuake2012_41

WritersCorps, a WITS Alliance organization in San Franciscowas thrilled to be a part of Litquake again this year, the annual literary festival that brings hundreds of writers and thousands of literature lovers to San Francisco for a fun-packed week of events. Our teaching artists and students read on Saturday, October 13, 2012, as part of Lit Crawl, the last hurrah of the Litquake fest for the year which features three hours of poetry, fiction, and non-fiction readings in bookstores, bars, art galleries, restaurants, stores, cafés, laundromats, and community spaces in SF’s Mission district.

As an organization employing professional writers and teaching creative writing to underserved youth, it is important to us at WritersCorps to have a connection to the city’s literary scene, which is exactly why we participate in events like Litquake. A bit about us: we are a joint project of the San Francisco Public Library and the San Francisco Arts Commission and have helped nearly 18,000 youth from neighborhoods throughout San Francisco improve their literacy and increase their desire to learn. We publish award-winning publications, produce local and national events, and are part of a national alliance with sites in the Bronx and Washington, D.C. In 2010, we were honored with the National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award from the White House, presented to us by First Lady Michelle Obama.

At Lit Crawl, WritersCorps packed the house at gift shop Serendipity. Teaching artist Rose Tully read an excerpt from a short story in which Crisco played a starring role. harold terezón read a series of poems, including one made up of all the names he’s ever been called. Carrie Leilam Love, true to her name, read a series of love poems. Roseli Ilano read an excerpt from her story, “Treasure.” Minna Dubin read from a prose piece. Anhvu Buchanan read a bromance ode to Jeremy Lin. Representing our students, Indiana PehlivanovaEvelyn León, and Roger Lopez read from recent work.

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Though the entire reading was a success, a particular highlight was Evelyn reading a poem about her father and bringing him, and nearly everyone else present, to tears.

To see all of the photos from the event, click here. To see all of the videos, click here. Thanks to Litquake, all of our teachers and students, and photographer Cole Anetsberger!

by Alexandra Wilder

Program Associate, WritersCorps

Poet Dean Young Visits WITS – Seattle

Students at the Hutch School had a visitor last week. Through the Seattle Writers in the Schools program, prize-winning poet Dean Young stopped by and did some writing with the kids. Jeanine Walker describes the it this way:

Dean brainstormed with the students, paraphrasing for them something Apollinaire once said: Poets imagine, and science and technology catches up. Across the street, construction was going on. “We’re going to help those builders,” Dean said. “What could we make a building out of?” The kids tossed around ideas: candy, spaghetti, shoes. Dean then had the students draw pictures of their buildings and write poems from those pictures, which they shared with the poet at the end of the hour.

For the complete story, click here.  The Seattle Writers in the Schools is part of Seattle Arts & Lectures. Their program serves students in dozens of local schools in the Puget Sound area.

Little Kids Write about the Big Apple

The book is out!  A POEM AS BIG AS NEW YORK CITY, a collaborative work by the talented students of Teachers & Writers Collaborative, hit the stores this month. With illustrations by Masha D’Yans  and a forward by Walter Dean Myers, this is a truly beautiful book. Here’s part of the publisher’s press release:

A POEM AS BIG AS NEW YORK CITY could only come out of the hearts and minds of New York’s schoolchildren.
Hundred of lines of poetry created by New York City students were collected and edited to form a single poem that
speaks with many voices. The project was organized by the Teachers and Writers Collaborative, a 40-year old
nonprofit organization that offers innovative creative writing programs for students and teachers throughout the five
boroughs. This beautifully illustrated picture book offers a kids-eye view of the sights, sounds, and soul of NYC, as
well as a chance for kids of every age to rediscover the Big Apple. “These are young people learning to celebrate the
ordinary and to transform that ordinary into the rich stuff of life,” says award-winning novelist Walter Dean Myers in
his Foreword. “They boldly discard the stale as they bring their own rich and unique inner visions to the page. I am
sometimes surprised at the talent represented here, but not the creativity. It is what young people are capable of
when given the chance.”

If you are interested in helping your students write about their own community, here are some lesson plans and teaching ideas that worked well for Teachers & Writers. Congrats to everyone at T & W!