Thursday, July 31, 2008

Week Four: Half-way There!

Here's the crew inside and outside Woodland Pattern Book Center after looking through many examples of chapbooks.

Director Anne Kingsbury (far right) and her assistant Julie (far left) were very helpful giving us ideas about how to design our chapbook.

The interns (and lead artist) have had a very intensive week choosing the poems that will comprise the chapbook. We are still working hard to edit it and to get it "perfect." We have a vision of how we want the book to be: now we just have to find out if our budget will support the vision!

We have also been contacting various possible venues for our poetry reading as well as practicing reading poems (our own and others') aloud. The interns have done a great job of encouraging each other at this. They just have to stop looking at each other and breaking into giggles!

Interns, from left: Michael Baker, Danielle Sanders, Tiara Cannon, Savanna Pryor, Mikael Luter, Clara Forrest, Lawrence Frater, Demetrius Cooper.

Poet T

This week has been very successful. Everyone has finally chosen their three poems. But we still have more work to do.


Forever is finally over,

That's about how long week four felt. A small four days has seemed equivalent to about four decades. This isn't a complaint though,because as I may have said before, I do love what I do. Also some good news has come my way, I got a raise!!!We've picked the poems and title for the book.We still have a little bit of kinks and bumps to work out; though overall this week's been good.

Clara Forrest

It's been really fun. We're starting to get the book together and we're going over ideas about titles, how it should be organized, and what the cover should look like. I can't wait to see it when it's over.

from demetrius cooper

This week was really good. We got to go to Woodland Pattern Book Center and we checked out some good titles for our chapbook from the workers that were there. That was really fun. Enjoy your weekend everybody.


hey this savanna again

I just want to say I am really learning so much here
and I am so happy because our chapbook is coming out.

LF week four!!!

WOW, week four is finally over and I have learned a lot so far. Now I went to the Woodland Pattern Book Center and a variety of books other than poetry was also there. This message was approved by your number one manager Kathleen Dale.+

-Lawrence Frater

an exerpt from one of my poems-Danielle Sanders

july fourth shooting

rest in peace
kendrick jackson
jacoby claybrooks
theresa mariella fisher
may the lord be with your famalies
in the blink of an eye life can change
in an instant yours ended
the night at a party
the drinking and socializing
with no intent of cloud nine ending
and then gun shots rang out
and things became shattered
his heart.......her glass.......their lives
were pronounced
(This is a part of one of my choosen poems for our chapbook; Inspired by a newspaper article.)

A New Stage

This has been yet another fun and exciting week. We are now in the phase of intense decision making on the design and format and overall culture of the chap book. A lot of our people skills are being put to great use. So far it has been rarely simple but I know this will get harder. I really cannot wait for the final project to be done.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Week Three: Reflections from Lead Artist

from left: Michael Baker, Clara Forrest, Tiara Cannon, Savanna Pryor, Danielle Sanders, Lawrence Frater, Demetrius Cooper

Week Three has been, as some of the interns have said, intense and various. The main task facing us this week was to do a final workshop on each of the six drafts that everyone has produced so far, so that final revisions can be made. The apprentices are showing themselves to be gaining competence and confidence in this process every day. They are becoming quite sophisticated in making suggestions and in giving feedback that is positive yet which leaves room for change, improvement, and possibility.

In addition to this intense work, we visited the Central Library. After some browsing, each intern checked out a book and spent some time choosing a poem to practice reading aloud. Tiara and Savanna did some research on tips for both reading aloud and editing an anthology.

On Wednesday night we visited the Soul Fire reading at the Miramar Theater on north Oakland. The first hour and a half are for teens. We stayed from 7:30-10:00 and heard a variety of readers perform their poetry. Our own interns, Michael and Danielle, read from the work they've produced this summer. The next day we analyzed what made a good reading and did some practice with the poems each had chosen.

We are now ready as a group to select the poems from each intern for the chapbook anthology. Apprentices will continue to practice reading poetry aloud and to critique each other. We have also identified seven possible venues for our poetry reading, and each intern will call one of them next week with a list of questions. Soon, the group as a whole must decide where to hold our poetry reading!

Kathleen Dale
Lead Artist

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Lawrence week three

This week at Artworks I went to the Milwaukee Public Library and checked out a few poetry books. Then I went to The Mirimar Theater to check out some of the poets around Milwaukee. Time has been going by so fast. and that was part of week three at art works

poem maker mike baker

You guessed it,
The kid is back for yet another update. The job has been both easy and a learning process. We went to an open mic night, and anyone who knows the kid can guess that I handled my biz.Though I must say that the spoghtlight was a little bright.I think i did kinda well considering it being my first swing at it.

intense week: Danielle Sanders

This week was very intense; we began revision, spent half a day at the library, and had an adventure to the Miramar theatre poetry reading. While undergoing revision process we had to listen to our peers' poems and critique. While at the library we found books of published poetry and had to read a poem in front of our peers. Also, last but not least the night at the Miramar theatre I and Mike the k-i-d had the courage to grace the stage. The experience of gracing the stage was awesome. I feel as though I belong on the stage: it's my new sacred place.

Clara Forrest

Yesterday we went to the Miramar Theater to hear some poetry readings. It was a lot of fun and I think we all enjoyed it. We fininshed reviewing everyone's poetry which was very intense and now we have to decide which ones are going into the book. We all got assigned a place to call for the poetry reading we are doing towards the end of August. This job has been a great experience and I'm happy to be part of the team!

Poet Te

Hi again,

It's week three and I am having so much fun. This week we worked on our poems for the book, which was alot of work. But I love it and learned how to give good as well as bad feedback. I have also found myself getting back into the feeling of writing every day.

have fun

I am really happy that I got over my fear of speaking in front of people and I so happy that I can do poetry and share with others. Iam getting better at writing poetry.

By Savanna Pryor

from demetrius cooper

This week we went to the library to read books about poetry and then we got to read one of the poems from the books we checked out from the libary. We also got to go to a live poetry reading. This job is a great opportunty.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Uniforms, Paychecks, Computers, and the Monster of Criticism

from left: Lawrence Frater, Tiara Cannon, Danielle Sanders, Mikael Luter, the Monster of Criticism, Clara Forrest (kneeling), Demetrius Cooper, Savanna Pryor, and Michael Baker.

We are at the end of our second week! Note the nifty uniforms! Paychecks were distributed for the first week, as well as suggestions about banking it and using it for things like computers and flash drives
(Mikael shared info about checking accounts just for teens)

This week we have been writing on more topics (mainly about people and events). We did some "people watching" in Red Arrow Park and Einstein's bagels, and actually read the New York Times and the Journal/Sentinel each day. Apprentices have also been searching the Internet (when computers are available) for advice about revising and workshopping drafts. Since we have only had occasional access to two computers which are shared with other offices, we have had to be creative about making copies of work to share in groups. (If anyone out there would like to donate laptops and/or flash drives to ArtWorks for our apprentices, it would be very much appreciated!)

I joked about this sculpture on the patio being "the monster of criticism." Of course, the point of critiquing, giving feedback and workshopping creative work is to make it better. I guess I could have called it "the monster of feedback," but that doesn't have the same ring! Apprentices are learning the important, but difficult skills of both giving and receiving feedback on creative work.

The poems they have been producing over the past two weeks are still works in progress. Apprentices are given a prompt, they freewrite, and then start to shape a draft according to the elements of poetry: metaphor, line, and sound. We read both professional examples and the work of other teens, as published in Chicago's Gallery 37 books.

When responding to a fellow apprentice's work, they are not allowed simply to say "I like it, " or 'it's good." They are learning to be specific, analytical, and truly helpful to one another. I also do not allow statements like "It's fine. Don't change a thing." I tell them about W.H. Auden's statement that poems are never finished, just abandoned!

Next week we will continue to revising process and will start to move into the editing process, as the eight apprentices will transform into an editorial board, selecting the best three poems of each apprentice! More about this next week!

Kathleen Dale
Lead Artist

Thursday, July 17, 2008

mike b back at it

Week 2 has came to an extravagant end.All is good in the "Artworks hood".
Hey,it me the kid once again. Also as I've said before working here has been an amazing experience. This week we went over some revision skills. Everyone worked well and we had a good time .

My second week

My second week at Art Works has been nice. I enjoy all that I am learning about poetry and on top of that I'm getting paid for something that I'm interested in. So I thank Meghan Koven and Kathleen Dale for helping me.

-Lawrence Frater

Clara Forrest

This week has been as fun as the first. We got our first paychecks! We wrote somemore poetry this week and I can tell we're getting alot better. We did three new pieces and all related to different things. We brought in a picture of a family member, I did my dog Chester. We also did a poem revolved around an article in a newspaper. It was alot of fun.

Mikael Luter

Hello again, readers, it is the second week of ArtWorks' Creating and Marketing Poetry Session and I must say, it has been great! I am reaching writing skills that I did not know I possessed. I am getting very insighting suggestions about my writings from my co-workers. This week has been a blast! I am looking forward to next week and on top of all this, I just got my PAY CHECK!!!!!!!!!

from Demetrius

This week I got some good suggestions about my poem from my co-workers.


Marketing and creating poetry is a wonderful opportunity that Art Works for Milwaukee provides for ages 14-21. The program which started July 7, has been very progressive. The interns which consist of my peers and me equaling to a group of eight have written six rough drafts and are continuing to write. We workshop our writings and have begun the revising stage.

Poet Te

Hello readers,

This week has been very helpful to me. Like last week we wrote three poems. One topic was about taking something from the news or newspaper to write about, a photo of someone in your family or friend, and a topic about this things that we have seen on our walk. There is one topic that I liked which was take something from the newspaper. Now we are working on the poems from last week and this week. To be pubished.

by Savanna pryor

This job is really fun and I am learning more and more every day. Poetry is something I can do throughout my life. This week I had fun workshopping with others at this job and understanding what people say about my poems.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Week One: Reflections from Lead Artist

[This is me with my adopted dog, Elliot!]

I am so happy to be a part of Artworks this summer! We have had a great first week.

I love these kids! So far, they have all shown amazing abilities, both in terms of work skills and artistic skills.

We have been writing intensely this week, as well as reading poems by professional poets and the poets from Gallery 37 in Chicago.

The apprentices have been focusing on identifying uses of metaphor, line breaks, and sound in their own and others' poetry.

They have been using and developing their creative and imaginative skills, as well as their reading, analyzing, speaking, and collaborative skills. They have been practicing giving and receiving artistic feedback, and applying all these abstract skills to their own work.

They all have a lot to say! There are great surprises in store, so say tuned for our doings in the next seven weeks!

Below, I've posted my most recent poem. I've told my apprentices about how I came to write it: from a picture posted in the New York Times showing a Communist Party boss down on his knees to the parents of the children killed in May by an earthquake. Many of the parents' only children were killed because of the shoddy construction of their schools.

Here is the picture:

Here is my poem:

Wild Rhubarb

One year into the wild chaos of puberty

she vowed to strive for perfection in all things.

The backyard’s smooth expanse of grass seemed

faultless except for the large weed in the

exact center. She’d never liked rhubarb anyway,

that nasty surprise when she was expecting cherry.

So one spring day she sat down on

the warm grass and pulled off all

its fat leaves, which wasn’t hard. But then she saw

the wrist-thick, yellow cord plugged

into hard prairie clay. Had she been

younger, she might have thought she was digging

to China, but her growing prefrontal cortex no

longer harbored such fantasies.

Yet, had she been more attuned that

day, she might have felt her trowel quiver

from the earthquake at Chongquing, might

have screamed with the thousands of only children

just her age crushed in make-shift schools.

She might have felt the rage of tens of thousands of stunned

parents whose perfect children were buried alive,

found dead, then buried again:

parents who jeered at the Communist Party Boss on his knees

before them quaking in fear of their uncontrollable,

rudimentary wrath. She was learning

something about the strength of determination

as she dug, about the fixed, tenacious belief

in perfectability, yet still

it was too early for her to know about hidden

faults, the sudden tectonic shift of a force,

how things that seem to submit if their leaves are never

allowed to gather light will still hunker,

vestigial stems, and through the thickest matter put

forth even thicker, even greener shoots.


Long live freedom, creativity, and strong, well-supported schools!

Kathleen Dale
Lead Artist

Meet the Project Team!

The Project Team (From Left):
Tiara Cannon, Savanna Pryor, Mikael Luter, Danielle Sanders, Clara Forrest, Lawrence Frater, Demetrius Cooper, and Michael Baker.

Poet Te

Hello to all my name is , Tiara Cannon

This progam has been a wonderful. I have leanred many new ways of witing poetry.
For example using thing around you are very fun to do. I used a puzzle that was missing as well as a lock. With those two objcets I created a poem called "The key to the Puzzle."

Here is a line from my poem:
I am the lock and
my thoughts are my key
The puzzle that was
missing paints a beautiful

A shot out to all my poets
keep writing that good life
This demetrius cooper,this job rocks
I really like this job. I've made new friends and its taught me alot already. I learned a little more about poetry and how to come up with ideas on what to write. I recomend this to everyone!!!!!!!!!
Hi my is Savanna pryor I really like this job its something new to learn. will here is one peom I wrote.

summer time
people act a fool when summer comes.
'' I ask myself why?"
people selling drugs every summer.
summer time
there people here and there standing outside
saying its nice.
summer time
but one thing i see is that many kid drying.
summer time
I really enjoy the experience of the program Marketing and Poetry. The program has been very influential in the process of me becoming a better writer.

the kid's new gig

Hey ,this is Mike B and one thing that i do when I make an entry in my journal is have a small conversation with myself; they go a little like so :::::

journal entry # 1 7/8/08
well mike so far so good! I mean since you got this new gig you've been on task & showing a lot of dedication. this might be the next big step ,ya know,you've got some good people to work with . we all are here to do something that we all love to do. so keep doin' what you're doin' and sooner or later like d-boy say" we gone get this paper!!!"

my first week at artworks

This first week at artworks was good

here is a part of one of my poems

the smell of a charcoal grill

the taste of fresh lemonade

going to six flags with my family
together, watching my brother
on his first rollercoster

The sun scorching on my neck

the wind whistling through the trees

seeing the waves move
like a sheet about to get folded

The relaxing sound of rain
as you fall into a deep sleep

-Lawrence Frater

Hey Guys

Well, hey there.. my name is Mikael Luter. I am a new apprentice in the new prgram Creating and Marketing Poetry. This first week has been fun. My co-workers are very fun and exciting to be with. I actually look forward to coming to be with these guys everyday for the next 7 weeks. I will be on later tonight to post one of my poems so please read and comment. Feedback is very much so needed and welcomed. Peace

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Welcome to ArtWorks' Summer 2008 Program: Creating & Market Poetry

The Project: Creating & Marketing Poetry

This summer we’ll spend about three weeks writing poetry on a number of different topics. Together we’ll look at examples of poems from both teens and professional poets. We’ll talk about the elements of poetry: The image (metaphor), sound, rhythm, and line. We’ll work to develop proficiency with all these elements. You’ll be asked to work both individually and in groups, as we move into the critiquing, work-shopping, and revising processes. At least once you will be asked to co-teach the group some element of this process.

At the end of about three weeks, as part of the whole group and functioning as an editorial board, you will help choose the three best poems of each member. From these will develop a “theme” for the chapbook of about 36 pages, which we will then begin to design.

We will talk with Anne Kingsbury, Director of Woodland Pattern Book Shop, and Molly Carey
of Clark Graphics to get ideas about how best to design and market the book we have. We will talk about how best to market our book to the audience(s) we have in mind.

In addition to the three poems from everyone, you will be asked to write a piece commenting on your poems and the process that went into creating them. This, with your photograph, will also go into the book.

We will attend two evening poetry readings and will analyze and evaluate what makes a good reading. You will practice reading your poems in preparation for our own poetry reading on the last evening of the project. As a group, you will be involved in planning and arranging for the reading.

Throughout the summer, on a daily basis, you will be asked to reflect on your processes in your journal, supplied by Artworks. You will share parts of this journal with me during individual evaluations. You will also share parts of this journal to transfer to the project blog.