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Poetry Made by All

Animated GIFs at the Poetry Center

Check out these animated GIFs, made by Leon De La Rosa. Leon will be teaching youth how to make animated GIFs, like the ones you see below, at Family Days this Saturday, September 22nd from 11:30am-1:00pm at the Poetry Center. Be sure to stop on by!

A quick Animated GIF’s how-to to be used as part of the University of Arizona Poetry Center’s Family Days.

This is an Animated GIF
 

It is a sequence of still images that played in rapid succession, will give the illusion of movement. This particular Animated GIF consists of 21 still images, which we can appreciate better at a slower frame rate.

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Friday, September 21, 2012

Family Days Poetry: The Shallow End of Sleep

Photo Credit: Cybele KnowlesOur first Family Days of the season is right around the corner. Come to Family Days this Saturday, September 22nd, from 10-1pm at the Poetry Center, for writing activities, multilingual storytime, Book Club, art, dance, yoga, and so much more! In honor of our upcoming Family Days, check out some awesome poetry from past Family Days' students.

What Is Found There

What is found there
the night of stones
outside in
the shallow end of sleep
elephants and angels

--Madeline

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Thursday, September 20, 2012

Matinee with Mayor (and Poet!) Jonathan Rothschild

Mayor Rothschild with studentsDid you know that Tucson's own Mayor, Jonathan Rothschild, is also an accomplished poet? Now's your chance to bring your students and hear him read from his work at our Matinee Performance on Friday, October 19th from 12:30-1:30pm.

Matinee performances are designed to make poets and writers accessible to middle and high school audiences. Many of the readers who participate in our matinee program also read in our reading series.

Teachers and students are invited to attend our matinee performances which are held on select Fridays. Matinee performances are underwritten by the Friends of the Poetry Center and are FREE to school groups.  To reserve seats for a matinee performance, contact Renee Angle at angler@email.arizona.edu. Lesson plans, poem packets, and other resources are available for teachers to use in their classrooms! We highly recommend pre-teaching the work of these poets prior to attending a matinee performance. Click here for writing exercises based on Mayor Rothschild's poetry collection, The Last Clubhouse Eulogy.

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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Blending Science into Poetry

Jeannie WoodJeannie Wood is a junior at the University of Arizona studying poetry, astronomy, and Latin. She’s from Northern Arizona and spends her time writing for the Daily Wildcat, playing rough with UA’s Derby Cats, and biking. She enjoys disappearing into different areas of the state, and parts of California, on weekends.

I often hear in the academic world that science and poetry no longer intertwine -- that we have split off into completely different disciplines and not many mix the line anymore. We all have a natural assumption that the Humanities hate the Sciences and vice versa. But already in my classes, I’ve studied just the opposite: it seems the language of science is making a comeback, if it hasn’t just always been lurking around.

Two science-poets that I’ve studied together are the wonderful Katherine Larson and Jeffrey Yang. What is neat about reading these two next to one another is how opposing they are. Sure, they both incorporate science in their writing, but they do it differently. Larson’s poems are emotional, warm (even when they’re devastating), and very human. Yang’s work is more detached, quick, and has sharp undertones; his work always remind me of  deep sea fish: small, odd, and effective.

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Thursday, September 13, 2012

The Reading Series in the Classroom: C.D. Wright

CD WrightThis week, in continuation with our series, "The Reading Series in the Classroom," we here at Wordplay will introduce your students to the writing of C.D. Wright. Wright will read at the Poetry Center this Thursday, September 13th at 7:00 p.m. Wright's reading will be best suited for high school students, so we're including this Extra Credit Worksheet and this great interview with local poet and teacher, Christopher Nelson. (Teachers: feel free to download the worksheet and interview, which are both designed to help students reflect on our Poetry Readings and modify it as it suits your classroom needs.) Check out this introduction and short reading by C.D. Wright, part of the Poetry Foundation's "Poetry Everywhere" project. Check out her poem, Flame, which also appeals to a K-5 audience, then follow the prompts below.

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Tuesday, September 11, 2012

To Document and Enjoy

Ben Wallace is a creative writing major at the University of Arizona. He's also a teaching artist at Sam Hughes Elementary.

Before class, one of the students calls me over and says, "Mr. Ben, I wrote a poem all by myself this morning."

"Awesome," I say. "What was it about?"

The girl smiles at me with her two front teeth missing, giggles, and says, "The Toothfairy!" I was so proud to hear that. I was able to see in her poems that she saw writing not as schoolwork, but as a way to document and enjoy life.

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Thursday, September 6, 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

The Reading Series in the Classroom: Kate Bernheimer

Kate BernheimerThe Poetry Center’s Fall Reading Series kicks off this Thursday, August 30th at 7:00 p.m., featuring writers Cynthia Hogue and Kate Bernheimer. The Reading Series is a great way to teach writing and expose students to poetry, stories, and essays that they might not encounter in the classroom. This Fall, Wordplay will be writing a series of blog posts titled, “The Reading Series in the Classroom,” which will highlight a story or poem by writers from this Fall’s Reading Series. In addition to providing a story or poem for students to read, we’ll also provide a set of writing prompts, that both parents and teachers can utilize with their students. We hope that these posts will not only get your students writing, but that the posts will also expose them to our Reading Series. Kate's reading will be most salient for middle to high school students, so we're including this Extra Credit Worksheet and this great interview with local poet and teacher, Christopher Nelson. (Teachers: Feel free to download the worksheet and interview, which are both designed to help students reflect on our Poetry Readings. Please modify it as it suits your classroom needs.) Check out VOCA, our audio-video library, and watch this great reading with Kate Bernheimer.

Check out her short story, A Petting Zoo Tale, which also appeals to a K-5 audience. (After you read the story, check out this fun, interactive version of the story, from Born Magazine.) Then follow the writing prompts below.

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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

A Scavenger Hunt

Jeevan NarneyJeevan Narney is an MFA candidate in poetry at the University of Arizona, and was a writer-in-residence at Sam Hughes Elementary.

I think the Family Days event was the highlight out of all the field work that I did this semester. I saw the children of Tucson come out of the community to the University of Arizona Poetry Center for one purpose: poetry. The November wind blew, and the morning sun lit the roof of our hair. It was a great day. The air was soon populated with the voices of laughing children, whose ages ranged from infant to high school. The parents smiled like children themselves. They were happy to be here with their children. It's been a neat semester of seeing how the Poetry Center provides poetic opportunities to learn more about poetry to our youth in the Tucson community.

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Thursday, August 23, 2012
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