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This past Saturday, we celebrated our last Family Days of the Spring 2013 season at the Poetry Center! Check out some of the awesome writing, generated by students during our Poetry Joey's writing workshops this past weekend. And be sure to mark your calendars for Saturday, September 28th, the first Family Days of the Fall 2013 season!
Quiet as a flea
Quiet as a flea, quiet quiet as a bug on a tiny rug
A wall on a ball on a rolly-polly tolly
In California, I do warn you about the California scene
It will haunt you in your dreams forever and ever
Sneek the wall of windows or the wall of widows
Dad or mom of windows or dad or mom of widows
P.S. Was it 8 or 9 windows?
Window wall window wall through all your beautiful windows
Every day what do you see?
Through all your windows do you spy lots of cars on the rough road?
Tiny tiny little bug on your little little rug
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 Carmen Giménez Smith. She will read at the Poetry Center on April 25th at 7 p.m., along with J. Michael Martínez and Roberto Tejada. Giménez Smith’s reading will be best suited for high school students, but her poetry also appeals to a K-8 audience. Please print and read her poem “Photo of a Girl on a Beach,” with your students, and then follow the writing prompts below. Hope to see you all at the Reading!
1. What words or images are most memorable to you in the poem?
2. Are there any lines or images that stick out to you as odd or quizzical?
3. Pick your favorite line and discuss it with a neighbor. Why did you pick the line?
4. At the end of the poem, there’s an interesting twist with narration. For most of the poem, the narrator is “I,” but by the end of the poem, the narrator shifts to “she.” Who, in your mind, is the girl on the beach? Is it the narrator or some other girl? Or do you have a different explanation?
5. Find a family photo when you go home tonight, and write a short imitation poem, based off of Carmen Giménez Smith’s “Photo of a Girl on a Beach.” For example, the title of your poem could be “Photo of a Grandpa at a Birthday Party.”
Join us for the 2013 Tucson Youth Poetry Slam All-City Championships at 1:00 pm at the Poetry Center!
The 2013 Tucson Youth Poetry Slam All-City Championship will be held Saturday, April 20th from 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm at the University of Arizona Poetry Center. Twenty of Tucson’s most dynamic poets 18-and-under will rock the mic with their original poems in the 3rd annual competition. Judged by the audience, this is poetry that aims to surprise you. The event will feature a performance by nationally recognized performance poet CARLOS CONTRERAS of Albuquerque! The event will also mark the book release of LIBERATION LYRICS written by local students studying pressing social issues through original poetry.
The Tucson Youth Poetry Slam and Liberation Lyrics are programs of Spoken Futures, Inc. This event is made possible in part by the UA Poetry Center, the Tucson Pima Arts Council, the Crossroads Collaborative, Casa Libre en la Solana, Bentley’s House of Coffee and Tea and broad community support.
See you there!
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 Ilya Kaminsky. Kaminsky will read at the Poetry Center this Thursday, April 11th, at 7:00 p.m. Kaminksy’s reading will be best suited for high school students, but some of his poetry also appeals to a K-8 audience. Read Ilya Kaminsky’s poem “Her Husband Dreams,” which can be found here (scroll down to #5).
1. Kaminsky writes about “glass miniature horses on each street” as being “confusion as sweet as I can bear.” What does that mean to you? Have you ever felt that way?
2. Using Kaminsky’s glass miniature horses as an example, brainstorm some different types of material that evoke that “sweet confusion” feeling in you—for example:
ivory, teakwood, marble, velvet, pencil lead, grass, silk, obsidian, oak
Everyone suggests Shel Silverstein. My daughter, Zoe, 7, got her third copy for Christmas this year. You can’t go wrong with Where the Sidewalk Ends but everyone already knows that. Then, there are the books the kids love and ask me to read over and over like Goodnight Moon, Curious George and Panda Bear Panda Bear What Do You See? But I assume you have all those books memorized too.
The books I want to showcase are the books that I think play with language the best. I want to read books that make me say how did they do that? That make me wish I had written that. That let words linger on my tongue like butter and lemon. I want to read books to my kids in the same way I want to read books to myself. Because, wow. Words are awesome.
I picked up a copy of Owl Moon at Bookman’s for no reason except I like owls. I didn’t know that this book would make me and my daughter go walking in the night in the forest behind our house saying whoo whoo to the trees. But it did. The author, Jane Yolen, writes a poem that doesn’t seem like a poem because there’s adventure and story and owls but the way she uses linebreaks and repetition remind me every time I read it how poems work:
In honor of National Poetry Month, we here at Wordplay want to share with you some of our favorite poems, written by youth and their parents at the Tucson Festival of Books this past March. During the festival, the writers were given a variety of writing prompts. Check out these excerpts from the giant group poem written at the Festival of Books, about what the writers found in their pockets and purses.
Contents of My Pocket or Purse
My pocket has a set of keys in it that can unlock any door
Inside my pocket there is a goofy smile
Inside my pocket is my phone that my Mom gave me to call her if I get lost
Inside my pocket is a camera to take lots of pictures
Inside my pocket is a bean bag from Microsoft
A tattoo of a scorpion that is black and brown
And last of all is a orange lolly pop that says tiger pop
And a wind up bug that is green, blue, red, and grey.
In case you missed the Poetry Out Loud Semi-finals at the Poetry Center earlier this month, one of the afternoon's highlights was from guest poet Logan Phillips. Check out his awesome performance here on Voca. During intermission at the Semi-Finals on March 2nd, Logan performed some of his poems, including, "So Many Names Inside This One," "Iced Love in Tucson," and "El Chupacabras Crosses Highway 86 on the Tohono O'odham Nation." From a love connection between Eegees and raspados to a tale of el chupacabras, his bilingual performances were both energizing and poignant, dynamic and daring. Enjoy!
Lately, I've been loving on Voca's search bar. If you haven't used it yet, do so now! When you type a word in, the Voca site searches for it in titles, names, and keywords -- basically anywhere you might find your chosen word. The word I chose was "home." I chose this word not really knowing what to expect because the word has such a broad meaning and a large span of images. But I was delighted by the new ways Voca and its poets encouraged me to think about “home," simply from the collection it pulled up under results.
A quick summary of what I found Voca to assign with "home": you can be home in your name, in a language, in body; you can find home in a writing form, in a dream house, in geography and the natural; home is food and sometimes the stars, often a title or just a word you’re trying to understand through a phone call to Mom.
The 2013 Arizona Poetry Out Loud State Finals were last night Wednesday, March 20th, 2013 from 7-9 p.m. in Phoenix. Cassandra brought the house down last night with her rendition of “As Kingfishers Catch Fire” by Gerard Manley Hopkins as she competed with nine other students throughout the state of Arizona for the championship title. Jessica Gonzales from Nogales High School and Mark Anthony Niadas from St. Augustine Catholic High School gave strong, thoughtful performances and were real contenders throughout the competition. Congratulations Cassandra! Congratulations Jessica and Mark! We are so proud of you and all the Southern Arizona performers who participated this year from the semi-finalists to the many school participants. This marks the fifth year in a row that a student from Southern Arizona has won the state title. Cassandra is now headed to Washington D.C. to compete in the national competition April 28th to 30th.
In honor of their achievements, and to recap the 2013 Poetry Out Loud Southern Regional Semi-finals, here are some of our favorite moments from the Southern Arizona Semi-Final competition, which took place on Saturday, March 2nd, 2013 at the University of Arizona Poetry Center. (Photo Credit: Jeff Smith)
2013 Poetry Out Loud winners (from Left to Right):
First place: Mark Niadas, St. Augustine Catholic High School
Second place: Jessica Gonzalez, Nogales High School
Third place: Cassandra Valadez, Sunnyside High School
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 Eloise Klein Healy. She will read at the Poetry Center, along with Peggy Shumaker, this Thursday, March 21st at 7 p.m. Klein Healy’s reading will be best suited for high school students, but her poetry also appeals to a K-8 audience. Please print and read Klein Healy’s poem, “Wild Mothers,” with your students, and then follow the writing prompts below. Hope to see you all at the Reading!
1. The speaker begins the poem with this line: “wild kitty sneaks up my stairs with two wisps of tiger behind her.” From the get-go, what can you infer about this animal, based off the description?
2. The speaker lists a number of wild animals that live around or near her home. List at least five of these animals. Do you think these images depict wildness? Explain.
3. The speaker says, “wild mothers always find me” and “three bowls of dry food every day and their tribes in proscribed circles waiting for me.” What can you infer about the speaker, based off of these details?