Well, readers, it’s Wednesday, our midway point through the week, and our young writers are still full of pep and great ideas for creating amazing pieces of writing. Today, the young writers began thinking more about their reading on Friday and developed poetry during a variety of exercises.
Speaking of the reading on Friday, I want to give you a tad more information so you can put this important event on your calendar. The reading on Friday, June 30th will begin promptly at 2:30pm in the UMB Theater at the Beach Museum. During this time, each young writer will present a bit of their writing from the week. Before the reading, at 2:00pm, we will have a short reception with refreshments provided by Arrow Coffee. What better way to kick off the weekend than seeing some talented young people read their fiction, poems, and plays?
Now that you’ve got that event written on your calendar, let’s get down to business.
After the young writers created collective poems, local poet Traci Brimhall visited the young writers. Traci is an assistant professor in the English Department at Kansas State University and teaches creative writing, with an emphasis on poetry. Her poems have appeared in The
New Yorker, Poetry, The Believer, Slate, The New Republic, Ploughshares, and Best American Poetry 2013 & 2014. Traci’s positive energy and excitement for poetry helped the young writers explore nonsense in poetry.
How do we create beautiful nonsense? Traci had the young writers delve into nonsense through Lewis Carroll’s “Jaberwocky” and write their own emoji poems. For the emoji writing activity, Traci gave our young writers two stanzas of emojis. Then, each young writer interpreted the emojis into words to create lines of a poem. Traci emphasized that it’s okay for the emoji poems to be nonsense, and in fact, encouraged our young writers to embrace the nonsense. And, boy, did they ever!
“A dancer did the shnook meet, terrified he ran at snail’s pace.”
“They stomped their feet and clapped their hands/Pumped their fists and danced all night/Till the snails came out and the moon flowers closed/And the sun came, shining bright”
After sharing these emoji poems, the young writers ventured out into nature where they wrote anaphora poems – poetry that repeats words or phrases at the beginning of lines. While I’m sure the scenery helped inspire our young writers, their talents truly shown through in their written work.
“I still remember the days we were here/Careless and free”
“The world is my favorite color”
After sharing their poems, Traci then tasked the writers to distill their writing into haikus.
“The ground is dirty/But people don’t realize/This is where life is”
Before leaving, Traci had the young writers recap what they learned from her visit. The young writers decide on these four take-aways:
“Poetry doesn’t have to make sense”
“Poetry doesn’t have to rhyme”
“Poetry is versatile”
“You can derive poetry from anything”
Keeping these take-aways in mind, the young writers spent the afternoon exploring other forms of poetry. They began with found poetry, in which poets take everyday pieces of writing, look them over for interesting words and phrases, and create a poem made of those pieces. Our young writers worked with instruction manuals for household appliances, housing applications, and newspaper articles. They cut the words out that appealed to them and created something entirely new and interesting.
Sam used articles on how to maintain a garden and information on gemstones.
Malea’s found poem came from an article about umbrella sales.
Sierra’s document was a “How to Train Your Puppy” guide.
After assembling their found poems, young writers then shared their writing with their peers.
“Feel the fluffy, glittery, grainy goo/that comes in a multitude of colors and textures”
“A breathtaking masterpiece of art/especially rare gems are desirable to exquisite collectors”
From the amazing poetry I heard today, I can say without a doubt that you do not want to miss the reading on Friday. Check back in with us tomorrow as our young writers explore songwriting!
-Kirsten, Program Assistant