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Welcome to the webpage for Mass Poetry's 2014 In-school Student Day of Poetry at Newburyport High School! On Friday, December 12, 2014, poetry will take over Newburyport High, engaging the entire school's approximately 800 students in poetry writing workshops, readings, performances, and an open mike. On this site, get to know the participating poets, their poetry, and the dynamic workshops they'll be leading.

WORKSHOPSTHE POETS & THEIR POEMSSCHEDULE • FLASHBACK TO 2013!


Writing-Generative Workshops for Freshmen & Sophomores

Silly Image, Serious Thought: A Comedy Club in the Poetic Temple
Noah Burton

Sometimes sitting on a rock in silence doesn't bring enlightenment—but throwing a mud pie does. Go figure! In this workshop you'll see how being silly and playful with images can lead you to deeply personal and universal discoveries that, in turn, complete a poem. With a clown car as your transport, who knows, maybe you'll see the universe or travel the highways of your conciousness? And maybe we'll join you too.

Poetry's Primordial Soup: Preparing Your Brain for Flashes of Inspiration
Josh Cook

Inspiration and artistic vision are mysterious forces, but I believe a fertile mind can be cultivated so that when inspiration does strike, great poetry grows. Through brainstorming, discussion, and, of course, reading and writing poetry, we'll leave with practical techniques for enriching your poetry brain, so you're ready when inspiration strikes.

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The Unlettered Muse: Poetry and the Creative Mind
Regie Gibson

This will be a lively writing workshop for those of you who want to write without all the rules you never wanted to learn anyway. By using both surrealist and structured techniques, like we will peep under the left and right sides of the brain and see what peeps back.

 

The Next Iron Poet
Jennifer Keogh

We'll be reading poems that use interesting or unlikely vocabulary, and then creating original works of poetry using a set of ingredient/word boxes that include different parts of speech. The works will be read aloud and votes will be taken to determine the winner!

If Walls Could Talk: Perspective & Personification
Johnette Marie Ellis

Have you ever imagined the number of stories a room holds? Tables, rugs, radiators, windowsills—what would these things say to the world about what they have seen, or who they have become? In this workshop, we will give life to a space by reflecting on the textures, colors and sounds that a room holds. We will explore perspective and personification to create a poem that might change the way you look at a room you’ve always known. By paying keen attention to line breaks and the multiple meanings of the words we use, we might even end up telling a story about ourselves.

is-line: Poets Like to Make Words Up
Ricky Orng

Students will work on developing creative writing strategies starting with the simplest building block of any piece of literature, the words. We will explore what defines a word and the metaphor between one word to another. The poets will create imaginative writing and pioneer innovative, textual exchange. This workshop is adapted from Regie Gibson teachings - examining the kindling of language. Students in this class will draft new additions to Webster's Dictionary, or at least in our poetry! 

Steal This Workshop!
Ralph Pennel

All writers are beggars and thieves, and in this workshop we will learn to beg and steal artfully. We will focus on identifying and harnessing our creative narrative impulse and how to shape the content so it fits the page as poetry. We will rummage though the lives around us and make them our own as we explore the relationship between speaker, tension, language, and line. We will look to each other and ourselves in order to better identify and harness our infinite access to the underexamined world. Remember, admitting we have access to a story worth transforming into poetry is the first step. Committing it to writing is the cure. So bring your pens, your secrets, and your sneakers, too. Be brash. Be bold. And bring no apologies!

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Writing from Memory
Tara Skurtu 

Personal memory is like a trustfund of images, stories, and senses. And, in a way, it functions very much like a poem--its logic isn't chronological, its associations are often connected by seemingly unrelated thoughts or visuals, and it's always in a state of movement . In this workshop, we'll use prompts that allow us to travel into our memories to write unpredictable, spontaneous, and surprising poetry.


Writing-Generative Workshops for Juniors & Seniors

Beast Mode: Be a Beast
Jamele Adams, aka Harlym 1two5

By the time we are done, we would have moved the world a little bit and re-imagined the lines by which poetry is defined. Writing is the spark that ignites flames of thought; thus your poetry leaves a trail of blue flames-the core of any fire. A kaleidoscope of creativity unleashed and unveiled "write" from you. Let us begin.

Jump Starting Your Writing and Telling Your Inner Voice to Shut Up
Timothy Gager

Do you believe in writers block? I don't, because even though you may have heard all about it, writers block only exists if you want it to. It's all about FEAR! Today's workshop will demonstrate how to work with prompts, either pictures or words, and what's the best way to workshop. 

Poetry's Primordial Soup: Preparing Your Brain for Flashes of Inspiration
Josh Cook

Inspiration and artistic vision are mysterious forces, but I believe a fertile mind can be cultivated so that when inspiration does strike, great poetry grows. Through brainstorming, discussion, and, of course, reading and writing poetry, we'll leave with practical techniques for enriching your poetry brain, so you're ready when inspiration strikes.

 

Write Right Now
Gayle C. Heney

All have the ability to write poetry with a little help. I’ll use tangible and verbal poetry prompts to help transport each of us outside the classroom and into new spaces filled with possibility. 

Great News!
Jennifer Jean

“It is difficult/ to get the news from poems,” wrote poet William Carlos Williams, “Yet men die miserably every day/ for lack/ of what is found there.” In this workshop we’re going to make it easy for folks to get the news from poems—we’re going to write our own “poem-responses” to items featured in the global news! Not only will you learn about free-verse-poetry-writing-basics in this workshop (about how to write poems containing:  potent language, vivid imagery and powerful lines), we’ll also discuss example poem-responses, various approaches to the poem-response, as well as the biggest news items of the day.

The Voice You Find Might Be Your Own
Danielle Jones-Pruett

Seamus Heaney said "finding a voice means that you can get your own feeling into your own words and that your words have the feel of you about them." But it isn't always easy to pin down the distinct characteristics--the grammar and syntax and music--that add up to "you." Like saying your own name too many times, trying too hard can make your voice unrecognizable. We'll work on strengthening our own voices by writing persona poems where we give voice to others. We'll revisit fairytales, myths, news stories, giving speech to those who were silenced. And then we'll listen, because in the echoes of those lost voices we might find exactly the thing we've been trying to say.

Poetry Remixed
January Gill O'Neil

This workshop will focus on finding poems in unusual places: in newspapers, magazines, recipes, labels, music lyrics, movies, art, advertisements, even tweets—basically, everywhere. The source material is an all-access backstage pass into a world of our own making and unmaking; a door to enter and exit however we please. Much our time will be spent on writing exercises, and reading and writing based off the work of emerging poets—all to broaden our sense of how and where we might find poetry in the public domain. Once you're "in," where you (and your poems) go is up to you.

First Fights with Resistance
Ricky Orng

In this class, we will stir conversations about resistance and oppression. We will explore our personal challenges with ourselves and our surroundings. The goal of this workshop is to have our poets exploit their weakness and transform them into strengths. We will personify our obstacles and go toe-to-toe with them, in the ring of our paper, jab with our pens, hook with our voice. The poets will create empowering writing!


SCHEDULE

Opening Assembly & Poetry Sampler
8:23-8:53 (30 minutes)

Freshman Workshops
8:57-9:46 (49 minutes)

Sophomore Workshops
9:50-10:39 (49 minutes)

Junior Workshops
10:43-11:45 (62 minutes)

Senior Workshops
12:21-1:10 (49 minutes)

Performances & Student Open Mike
1:14-2:25 (71 minutes)