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must be careful
when he looks
at a book.
-Porter, 5 1/2
Blue is the sound of rain. Ag is
the sound of a tired rock. My
favorite sound is Zoom and
the ocean's favorite music
is rock 'n' roll.
This poem was written in a Poetry Joeys workshop, taught by Joni Wallace. Based on the poem, "Stone," by Charles Simic, students explored what it would be like to be inside a bat. Poetry Joeys is our free writing workshop for youth, offered once a month on Saturdays through the UA Poetry Center Family Days Program.
you can hear the noisy flute
the whole universe. be blind wicked
things the poisoned apples
are on the trees
Photo Credit: Cybele Knowles
The power plants are breaking
its thorns are breaking
its leaves are breaking
the plates go up and down
one plate goes on the other
one plate turns on another
(that makes an earthquake)
the salamis are going up and down
this is the ocean I'm drawing
an island that only has salt water
salt water salt water
maybe I could visit Japan
if I don't die
--Willow Falcón, age 4
On April 30th the Poetry Center will host the Young at Art Festival, celebrating Tucson youth artists and local community organizations. There will be day long activities for all ages, including plays, readings, chalk artists, musicians, puppet shows, a variety of word inspired crafts and activities including bookmaking, a poetry slam, haiku improv, and food made by Blue Banjo Barbecue served all day long!
Puppets Amongus is one of many local arts organizations performing at the Young at Art Festival. Sarah and Matt Cotten of Puppets Amongus were recently featured on Arizona Illustrated. Watch their interview below!
The WordPlay blog is on winter holiday. Please check back in January 2011 for more great interviews and articles about bringing creative writing into your classroom, home, and community. In the meantime, here's what's upcoming for youth at the UA Poetry Center in the Spring. Mark your calendars.
Poetry Joeys: January 29, February 26, March 19.
Poetry Out Loud Regional Finals: March 3 at 8 p.m.
Bilingual Corrido Contest Concert featuring 2011 winners: April 16
Young at Art Fest: April 30
A few collaborative stories written by Poetry Joeys participants ages 4-6 on December 4th. Children were encouraged to make up their own words and create movements for them. Our next Poetry Joeys will be January 29th at 10 a.m. Hope to see you there!
Once upon a time there was a snoofjay. He had curly horns and a zebra face, feathers on his head, a lizard chameleon body, and yellow beak. The snoofjay nacks and snoofs. At night he dumbers to his snookie. In the morning he goes to bed. He has to watch out for the Rhino and the maneless lion. When the Snoofjay sees people, he says "Zucker. Zacky." Then he blows bees and grooks out of his nose.
A long time ago in Neek, eufs and geeks were having a battle. The eufs wanted freedom, and the geeks wanted juice. All day long the eufs snooked and all night the geeks fracked. One day Fweak, the prince of mashed potatoes came riding on his Queaky. When Fweak arrived he shlushed and he slooped. The eufs gacked and gracked while the geeks boofed and ookied. Fweak jumped off his Queaky, raised up his snond, and said, "Quackakeeky!" The eufs choofed to the city. The geeks went to San Diego. And the Prince of Mashed Potatoes wackanacked home.
When I set out to find the Worlds of Words collection, I knew little beyond that it was located in the basement of the Education Building. After a few unsuccessful attempts in various stairwells, I opened a door and knew I had found the right place. The walls of the stairwell were covered in posters promoting literacy with bright, colorful illustrations all pulling me forward into an incredible collection of children's books.
The most immediately striking thing about WOW is the sheer number of books they house. There are books everywhere, filling shelves in four rooms, covering tables, sometimes even stacked on top of each other on the shelves in sections where there wasn't quite enough space. This impressive collection is housed in a series of interconnected classrooms which have been converted into a library space with tables and chairs scattered throughout. The lighting is slightly dim and the atmosphere cool and quiet, a perfect respite from the world above.
A review by Elizabeth Falcón
Elizabeth is the Poetry Center's Education Intern. She is also a poet, MFA student, teaching artist, and a mother of two.
I recently sat down with my kids (ages 2 and 4) to watch the HBO Classical Baby's The Poetry Show, not really knowing what to expect. What we found was a half-hour introduction to the essence of poetry, hosted by young children, who, in addition to introducing poems from William Shakespeare to Robert Frost, also explicate the poems with accessible, insightful observations.
Matt Cotten has been working as a painter, performer, and teacher in Tucson since 1994. He taught in the College of Fine Art at the University of Arizona for fifteen years, and is well known in the arts community as an organizer of Tucson's annual All Souls Procession. His work as director of Tucson Puppet Works has ushered in an emergence of puppetry theater to the Tucson area. Matt's paintings are currently on display in the Poetry Center through May 26.
Colleen Burns is a volunteer and avid supporter of the Poetry Center. She and her granddaughter Anika are Poetry Joeys regulars and they spend quite a bit of time writing together.
About writing with Anika, Collen says:
Children Anika's age (3-7) have rich imaginations and large vocabularies that can construct sophisticated stories if the physical act of writing doesn't get in the way. When children are asked to 'write' a story using an unwieldy pencil and unruly paper, this sheer physical act of writing slows down and sometimes can stop a story altogether.