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summer camp

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.

 

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Thursday, November 29, 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.

 

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Thursday, November 8, 2012

Guest Blogger: Zaza Karaim

Zaza KaraimZaza Karaim is thirteen years old and an eighth grader at St. Michael's Parish Day School. She loves writing poetry and playing guitar. Zaza volunteered this past summer at the Poetry Center's annual Creative Writing camp. Below are a selection of her poems that she has graciously shared with Wordplay.

The Bamboo Tree

The green bamboo leaves
Twirl through the summer air
The stalks stand firmly
Their roots in the ground
Their fingers in the air
The light shines through the branches
And splatters the ground
With bright shapes
The wind blows
And the shapes dance around
On the soft dirt
Never the same.

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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Guest Blogger: Zaza Karaim

Zaza KaraimZaza Karaim is thirteen years old and is an eighth grader at St. Michael's Parish Day School. She loves writing poetry and playing guitar. Zaza volunteered this past summer at the Poetry Center's annual Creative Writing camp. Below are a selection of her poems that she has graciously shared with Wordplay.

The Book

                —a poem from Lady Gaga’s point of view

It’s a book.
But it could be a hat.
Or a shoe.
Or an earring.

Perhaps I could have it surgically attached to my knee
Or I could weave the pages together
And make it into a mitten.
Or I could sing a song about it
Or have it tattooed on my shoulder!

Or—
Maybe, just maybe,
I could read it.

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Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Guest Blogger: Zaza Karaim

Zaza KaraimZaza Karaim is thirteen years old and will be entering eighth grade at St. Michael's Parish Day School this coming fall. She loves writing poetry and playing guitar. Zaza volunteered this past summer at the Poetry Center's annual Creative Writing Camp. Below are a selection of her poems that she has graciously shared with Wordplay.

The White Cat Under a Shredded Black Cloak

The stars are holes in the dark night
The small points where day seeps through
A white cat under a shredded black cloak

The moon was the sun’s dearest friend
Peacefully willing to sleep through the day
But they fought one day and it was never the same

Earth longs to sparkle like the sun
So we light our torches
The sun laughs as our candles flicker and die

The earth and the sun and the moon
The twirling paparazzi and the smiling star
So different from the lonely white spot in the night
Yet still, at dawn, they all hold hands

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Thursday, September 27, 2012

Introducing Guest Blogger: Zaza Karaim

Zaza KaraimZaza Karaim is thirteen years old and will be entering eighth grade at St. Michael's Parish Day School this coming fall. She loves writing poetry and playing guitar. Zaza volunteered this past summer at the Poetry Center's Creative Writing Camp. Below are a selection of her poems that she has graciously shared with Wordplay. Keep an eye out for more blog posts and poetry from Zaza in the next couple months.

The Ocean

the ocean is calm
but the waves are crouching tigers
waiting to spring and slap the shore

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Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Summer Camp Writing

Photo Credit: Cybele KnowlesBelow is a collection of writing from this past summer at the Poetry Center's Creative Writing Camp. Enjoy!

Bella

A Super Hero
A super hero steps out into the world. A gift from the heavens to protect the land from uninvited foes. A burglar runs. Black mask and soul. A large sack trails behind. They fight and the sack pops open and a child runs out. The burglar remains behind bars.

Thoughts and Dreams
Thoughts and dreams fill my head.
All the words that have been said.
My life seems like a fantasy
without you there would be no me
I wonder each day what I would do
If I did not have you.

I was wandering
I was wandering helplessly through the desert. I was blind and using my sense of touch to find my way. Suddenly a paper bag blows towards me and I stick my hand inside. When I feel a heavy-ish metal typed object that has a handle that turns. I wonder what it could possibly be and how it got this far out in the desert. I focus on the object and describe it to myself as a smooth, cold, object that is curved at the end almost as if that was a handle. All the way to the other end there was another part that was similar, only not as curved, and you could twist it and crank it. What a mysterious object. I marveled at it once more before it blew off, and I continued on my journey.

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Thursday, August 30, 2012

Creating Sam: A Collaborative Furniture Project

by Elizabeth Falcón

SamAs we were planning out our week-long middle school summer camp, "What's in the Box: Creative Writing in 3D", at the Poetry Center, my co-teacher Erin and I were trying to anticipate what we would do during the first half hour of every morning. We didn't want to start a lesson while waiting for the campers who might be straggling in late, but we didn't want our campers just sitting around waiting to start.

I remembered reading somewhere (I think it might have been in David Morice's The Adventures of Dr. Alphabet) about some kind of collaborative furniture project, where students were allowed to write poems on a chair.  And it gave me an idea.  What if we had a week-long collaborative project we were working on every morning before camp?  

We looked for a piece of furniture and, as luck would have it, a friend was giving away a nice old cabinet with drawers and doors and nice little nooks and crannies.  We decided that during a lesson on character creation the first day, the class, as an example, would create a collaborative character first, who would become the basis for the collaborative cabinet project during the week.  (Erin and I prematurely called the cabinet "Sam.")

We planned out short activities day by day that the students could do to elaborate on Sam, such as cover a drawer with the place(s) Sam lives, fill a drawer with objects from Sam's pockets, write a secret Sam has and fold it so no one can see it. We even had an exquisite corpse activity where students would take turns writing on the cabinet one line at a time to create a story about Sam.

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Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Reflections on Summer Camp

Wordplay blogger, Adam DeLuca, observed an afternoon of "Creative Writing in 3-D" for middle school students earlier in June and shares these thoughts.

Today was my first day observing creative writing in 3D Summer Camp for middle school students here at the Poetry Center. I'll start off by saying that even though I have only seen a portion of the camp, it is easy to see what a great time the kids are having. The camp is run in a way so that the counselor's get the campers to be active and involved no matter what the activity is, if it is discussion, presentation or an art project. Collaboration between the campers is also a key part of the camp. Not only do the exciting projects get the kids working, but they get them working together. In the camp today they were discussing symbols in our world, such as symbols in books they have read or even pictures of graffiti in our cities. They considered how these symbols can be used as metaphors or be seen in many different ways. They discussed a picture of a peace sign spray painted over a one way road sign and threw out ideas about what it might stand for. Some said that it may mean that peace shouldn't be a one way street, where as others took it as peace is the only way to go. Later one camper drew a symbol on a white board and then everyone else came and added something to the symbol. The symbol grew and grew with each addition and ended up being a hilarious picture of some creature with pony tails. They then were able to talk about how the drawing was affected by new additions. The constant interaction between the kids and the counselors kept the brainstorming going and really sparked the creativity in the kids. At one point the kids were given envelopes with symbols in them and the object was to write down as many things in one minute that were the opposite of what that symbol may stand for. These types of activities cause the campers to think out of the box and spark creativity with their work while still being able to have a good time.

--Adam DeLuca

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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Reflections of "Creative Writing in 3-D" Summer Camp

Last week here at the Poetry Center, we hosted a camp called "Creative Writing in 3-D." One project campers did was make their own 3-D world out of a shoe box they had brought from home. Some of the materials they used were markers, paint, glitter pens, pictures from a geographic magazines, newspapers, love boxes, and construction paper. They put in their boxes secret codes, web chains, and newspaper found poems. Also, they created a story revolving around their world. They used clothespins to represent the characters in their story. They dressed the clothespins however they wanted them to look. The campers also drew their hands without looking at the paper and after they were done, they made maps out of their hands. They had a little chalk fun while they were outside. They drew an evil looking eel with sharp teeth.

To the right is an example of a camper's 3-D world made out of a shoe box. As you can see, the camper got really creative and did a very good job.

--Jamilla Grigsby

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Monday, June 13, 2011
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