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.
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.
Sunday, July 27, 2008
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!
Thursday, July 24, 2008
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.
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.
Friday, July 18, 2008
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!
Thursday, July 17, 2008
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 .
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.
Thursday, July 10, 2008
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:
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
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!
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
people act a fool when summer comes.
'' I ask myself why?"
people selling drugs every summer.
there people here and there standing outside
saying its nice.
but one thing i see is that many kid drying.
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
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
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.