Event Title

Poetry by Langston: Lessons Taught and Learned Through Writers-in-the-Schools (WITS)

Location

King Building 343

Start Date

4-28-2017 1:30 PM

End Date

4-28-2017 2:50 PM

Abtract

There is a common misperception that kids are not ready to speak or write about their life experiences, “real world issues,” or nuanced literature. Nothing could be further from the truth. My work teaching poetry to seventh graders at Langston Middle School through the Writers-in-the-Schools (WITS) program, with the guidance of Lynn Powell, seeks to introduce middle schoolers to a poetic education driven by lived experience rather than unrelatable abstraction. We dig into what really makes great poetry come alive, and write our own poems as a way of speaking out in the face of misunderstanding, testing boundaries, processing emotions and histories, and expressing wonder at the world we live in. With three anthologies of writing by my students at Langston, along with the poems and lesson plans that inspired them, I hope to convey the necessity of intuitive arts education.

Keywords:

education, poetry, English, arts, social justice

Notes

Community-Engaged Research Panel
Session I, Panel 6 - Lorain | County
Moderator: Gina Pérez, Professor of Comparative American Studies

Major

Creative Writing

Advisor(s)

David Walker, Creative Writing; English

Project Mentor(s)

Lynn Powell, Creative Writing

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Apr 28th, 1:30 PM Apr 28th, 2:50 PM

Poetry by Langston: Lessons Taught and Learned Through Writers-in-the-Schools (WITS)

King Building 343

There is a common misperception that kids are not ready to speak or write about their life experiences, “real world issues,” or nuanced literature. Nothing could be further from the truth. My work teaching poetry to seventh graders at Langston Middle School through the Writers-in-the-Schools (WITS) program, with the guidance of Lynn Powell, seeks to introduce middle schoolers to a poetic education driven by lived experience rather than unrelatable abstraction. We dig into what really makes great poetry come alive, and write our own poems as a way of speaking out in the face of misunderstanding, testing boundaries, processing emotions and histories, and expressing wonder at the world we live in. With three anthologies of writing by my students at Langston, along with the poems and lesson plans that inspired them, I hope to convey the necessity of intuitive arts education.