Divider Graphic

high school

Guest Blogger: Eleanor Allen-Henderson

Eleanor Allen Henderson

Today, we're featuring the writing of our guest blogger, Eleanor Allen-Henderson. Eleanor was a volunteer this past summer at the Poetry Center's annual Creative Writing Camp. She has graciously agreed to share her writing with us. Below is one of her stories. Keep an eye out for more writing from Eleanor in the next month.

A Speculation

The bamboo wood, supporting the wall of glass, didn’t feel trusted. Bamboo wasn’t enough for Walls and there was Steel, outlining its every crevice. Bamboo wasn’t sure whether to be relieved of the weight or disheartened that it could not bear the weight of lives.  Bamboo speculated people are like that too.

Created on: 
Thursday, December 6, 2012

Guest Blogger: Eleanor Allen-Henderson

Eleanor Allen Henderson

Today, we're featuring the writing of our guest blogger, Eleanor Allen-Henderson. Eleanor was a volunteer this past summer at the Poetry Center's annual Creative Writing Camp. She has graciously agreed to share her writing with us. Below is one of her stories. Keep an eye out for more writing from Eleanor in the next few months!

The Name

A burst of color smattered across her face. And by her, I mean my. I don’t mean to be so loud, but sometimes, my interest speaks louder than volumes, and what I feel is not quite equitable to words. So one day, they ask you, “What is Eleanor?” To which you reply, “Eleanor is a burst of color across my eyelids, and she’s never quite predictable, but sometimes she jumps just to get the point across. To say Eleanor, one is to say dancing of hands and the light of her eyes, brimming with all the things she cannot wait to say.” But this is just the capacity to which you know me.

 

Created on: 
Thursday, November 29, 2012

Interview with R.J. Mendoza: 2012 Corrido Contest Second Place Winner

R.J. MendozaEvery year, the Poetry Center holds their annual Corrido Contest. The corrido is a musical ballad form developed in Mexico in the 1800s and originally sung throughout the country. Although still popular in Mexico, over time it became known as “musica de la frontera” (border music) because it was especially popular along both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border. This contest for high school students encourages historical and cultural awareness and provides students with a vehicle to express themselves. All Arizona high school students in grades 9-12 are encouraged to apply by writing corridos in Spanish and/or English.  For resources on teaching corrido in the classroom, visit our Teaching Corrido page. To enter in this year's corrido contest, please check out our website; the deadline for this year's contest is Friday, December 7th by 5 p.m.

With the Corrido contest deadline fast approaching, Wordplay had a chance to sit down with one of last year's Corrido winners--R.J. Mendoza--and ask him about his Corrido contest experience. Check out our interview with him below. 

WP: How did you (and your family) re-act when you found that, out over 400 submissions, your Corrido was award second place?

RM: We were really surprised. After I got the call saying that I had wond second place, I called up my parents and we started telling everyone.

WP: When did you first hear about the Corrido contest? Who encouraged you to enter?

RM: I head about the Corrido contest about a month or so before the due date. I was looking on the Phoenix Library College depot site and found it in their scholarship list. My parents saw the scholarship as well and encouraged me to enter, throwing ideas as to what I could write about.

Created on: 
Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Ode to Turkey

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, what better way to celebrate than with an ode to our favorite, ill-fated feathered friend? (That is, unless you’re a fan of Tofurkey). Sit back, relax, and enjoy “Ode to Turkey,” written by the 7-10-year-old class at Family Days this past Saturday, under the “turkelage” of their instructor, Kimi Eisele.

Ode to Turkey

Steaming to the top of the oven
it heats, waiting

Some sit at the table
Some peer in the oven
Some fix the salad or
mush the mashed potatoes
Some slice bread
Some butter the sweet potatoes

Meanwhile the smell of the turkey
flows and flies through the house.
Even dad watching football wiggles his nose.
The dogs salivate.

Created on: 
Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Humor through Voca

My goal today, is to make you smile, like the fellow in this painting:

For whatever reason, I was curious what Wikipedia had to say about “humor.” I found this painting, with the caption, “smiling can imply a sense of humour and a state of amusement, as in this painting of Falstaff by Eduard von Grutzner." Inexplicably, my funny bone was struck, perhaps, because wiki tried to explain humor through a goofy painting?

It seems humor is difficult to traditionally define; we are able only by describing its reactions: smiling, laughing, amusement. It’s hard to say what we each find funny. I know my sense of humor is far different from some of my friends, but my sister and I are spot on. We learn our sense of humor from others, and then, simultaneously, we are amused by something no one else understands. This is intimidating for writers, because, what’s funny then? I figure, we just write what amuses us and write it well. If there is one rule for writers, it’s to own your work, something that seems especially necessary in humorous writing.

Created on: 
Thursday, November 15, 2012

The Reading Series in the Classroom: G.C. Waldrep

This week, in continuation with our series, “The Reading Series in the Classroom,” we here at Wordplay will introduce your students to the writing of G.C. Waldrep. Waldrep will read at the Poetry Center this Thursday, November 15th at 7:00 p.m.  Waldrep’s reading will be best suited for high school students, but his poetry also appeals to a K-5 audience. Please print and read Waldrep’s poem, “Apocatastasis,” with your students, and then follow the writing prompts below. Hope to see you at the Reading!

1. What does the word “apocatastasis” even mean? Before you look the word up in the dictionary or online, write up your own creative definition for this word.

2. In this poem, Waldrep uses many nature images. Using the following images from his poem, write your own poem: spring, stone, sycamore, smoke, sky, and stem.

Created on: 
Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Introducing Guest Blogger: Eleanor Allen-Henderson

Eleanor Allen-HendersonThis week, we're introducing our second guest blogger of the Fall: Eleanor Allen-Henderson. Eleanor was a volunteer this past summer at the Poetry Center's annual Creative Writing Camp. She has graciously agreed to share her writing with us. Below is one of her poems. Keep an eye out for more writing from Eleanor in the next few months!

Dr. Who

The Weeping Angels surrounded the Doctor and his companion, all angles in a building made of glass. How he landed in this god-forsaken place, he did not know...but couches...couches! Suddenly, he possessed thoughts no longer, only thoughts, ideas, tangents. Couches, couches, leather from dead animals dyed red and black. Couches...couches...the angels advanced. Show time.

 

Created on: 
Thursday, November 8, 2012

No Teacher, No Student is an Island

Blake Whalen-EncalardeThis post is one of a series where Poetry Out Loud coaches reflect on the summer professional development session focused on enhancing poetry performance skills hosted at the Poetry Center.

To have an opportunity to gather with other educators is, for educators, par for the course. My experience teaching, particularly in my first year, was an experience of collaboration. Among the greatest advice I received that year (with apologies to both T.S. Elliot and Pablo Picasso): Immature teachers borrow, mature teachers steal.

No teacher is an island, and just as we wish our students a supportive, constructive atmosphere, working diligently to make that wish come true, when we come together as a profession, we create that atmosphere for ourselves.

When we came together this summer for a Poetry Out Loud professional development workshop, I was, despite my lofty rhetoric in the preceding paragraph, not looking forward to it. True, I was teaching no classes over the summer, and needed desperately to get out of the house, but come on, hours of non-poets discussing poetry performance. Ouch.

Created on: 
Thursday, November 1, 2012

How to Make the Body Breathe

Laura I. MillerThis post is one of a series where Poetry Out Loud coaches reflect on the summer professional development session focused on enhancing poetry performance skills hosted at the Poetry Center.

A friend of mine has a tattoo on each of her wrists. They read breathe in flowing script. I used to think was entirely unnecessary, after all, isn’t breathing involuntary? Oh the body is a strange and terrible thing, capable of ignoring the most basic instincts, like the intake of oxygen, when greater dangers emerge—such as whether or not you’re fooling yourself in front of a captive audience, all eyes focused on you. Towards the end of the Poetry Out Loud professional development session, I learned that it’s sometimes necessary to trick the body into behaving as a normal human body does.

The first thing you learn in yoga is breath control. You learn to breath from the base of your stomach, to imagine your lungs filling up like balloons, and to release the breath slowly, pushing out every last molecule of carbon dioxide. A study conducted in 2005, “Yoga for Depression: the research evidence,” found that rhythmic breathing and relaxation significantly reduced depression in female university students. Some cultures believe that rhythmic breathing aligns a person with the cosmic energy that created the universe, and thereby promotes enlightenment.

Created on: 
Thursday, November 1, 2012

The Reading Series in the Classroom: Carl Phillips

Carl PhillipsThis week, in continuation with our series, “The Reading Series in the Classroom,” we here at Wordplay will introduce your students to the writing of Carl Phillips. Phillips will read at the Poetry Center this Thursday, November 1st at 7:00 p.m. Phillips's reading will be best suited for high school students, but his poetry also appeals to a K-5 audience. Please print and read Phillip's poem, Civilization, with your students, and then follow the writing prompts below. Also, to encourage your students to answer the writing prompts, we've included this Extra Credit Worksheet, which you can download, print, and hand-out to your students. Finally, as extension activites, feel free to check out this great reading and interview with Carl Phillips on PBS Newshour's Art Beat. Also, local poet and teacher, Christopher Nelson, shares his insights about teaching the Poetry Center's Reading Series in the Classroom in this great interview on Wordplay. Hope to see you all at the reading on Thursday!

1. In "Civilization," Phillips often inserts italicized snippets of dialogue into the poem. In a journal or on a piece of paper, record dialogue that you hear throughout the day. Then, write a poem, inserting bits of the dialogue that you heard in italics.

Created on: 
Tuesday, October 30, 2012
Arizona Board of Regents