Teach It to the Moon and Back

moon

Peter Markus, senior writer with WITS Alliance member organization, InsideOut Literary Arts Project of Detroit, has a featured lesson plan in this month’s Teachers & Writers Magazine.

Markus (aka Mr. Pete) engages his students in conversation and asks the class to rethink what they know about the moon. Together they dig into their imaginations and create metaphors for the moon. “What I love about bringing the moon into the classroom is that it’s a universal object. A little girl in Manhattan—Kansas or New York—or an old man in Kenya, a mother in Missoula, each of these people has equal access to a shared sky, a sky that has up in it a communal light—a light that is sometimes a circle cut in half, a light that is at other times a hammock hung between stars—a light, in short, that all eyes can see in new, never-before ways.”

Read the full lesson at Teachers & Writers Magazine >>

US Poet Laureate Visits WITS Program in Detroit


PBS NewHour is doing a series of stories about poetry in America led by the U.S. Poet Laureate Natasha Tretheway. Correspondent Jeffrey Brown reports on Natasha’s visit to WITS Alliance member program InsideOut in Detroit. Read more about the young poets of Detroit here and here. Or watch the full segment from PBS NewsHour here.

iO's Justin Rogers celebrating his Detroit last night on the PBS NewsHour: "I looked at what my city is now and realized I enjoy what I have here more than what my fantasy city is, and that these negative things, they are there, but there are so many other positive things, that I'm going to enjoy what I have here." Photo by Regina Boone, copyright 2013.
iO’s Justin Rogers celebrating his Detroit last night on the PBS NewsHour: “I looked at what my city is now and realized I enjoy what I have here more than what my fantasy city is, and that these negative things, they are there, but there are so many other positive things, that I’m going to enjoy what I have here.” Photo by Regina Boone, copyright 2013.

 

Poets Act as Guides to Art in Detroit

The WITS Alliance member in Detroit, Inside Out, enjoys a multi-layered collaboration with the Detroit Institute of Art (DIA). Here is a post from the Knight Arts blog about a Bike Tour in which performance poets from InsideOut Literary Arts Project brought art to life along a 13-mile route.Image

Here is a description of one stop in the article by Larisa Zade:

In front of the reproduction of Benny Andrews’ Portrait of a Collagist at the Dell Pryor Gallery in Midtown Detroit, the Spitfires, an after-school poetry performance troupe organized through InsideOut Literary Arts Project’s Voices program at Detroit International Academy for Young Women, presented an original poem. Inspired by the Andrews self-portrait, Aryn Smith, Khadijah Shabazz, Sakila Islam, and Queantae Smith wrote the poem they then performed as a group. The Spitfires offered two performances for the riders, who were joined by people walking to local shops and restaurants interested in both the painting and the poetry. Each performance was met with an enthusiastic round of photos and applause for the young and talented poets. Many riders agreed it was the most moving stop along the tour.

To see Zade’s complete article, click here.

InsideOut Goes To The White House

InsideOut Founder Terry Blackhawk, City Wide Poet Lena Cintron, and First Lady Michelle Obama at the Coming Up Taller Award Ceremony 2009

InsideOut Literary Arts Project, a member of the WITS Alliance headquartered in Detroit, has been nationally recognized as one of 15 youth arts and humanities programs to receive the prestigious 2009 Coming Up Taller Award. They received the award for City Wide Poets, an after school writing and performance program. For more information, click here.