remember the first time I read a poem and thought,
Wow! When I was a teen, and even before,
I felt as though no one understood me and I couldnt
find a way to communicate so they would understand.
I remember being sprawled across the couch and picking
up an old book from the shelves. I opened the book
to a Dylan Thomas poem, Do Not Go Gentle Into That
remember feeling as though I had finally found a language
I could understand. From that day on,
I began to write. I wrote poems constantly. It was
as though someone had opened a door and let in fresh
air. Today, I have published two small books of poems
and have finished another full-length book of poetry.
I have even won some awards. I have had people come
to me, after having listened to me read my work aloud,
and thank me for writing something that touched them,
that echoed their own lives.
did, eventually, find teachers who read my poems and
encouraged me. Now, it is my turn to reach out to
you. I am so excited to work with you! I want to encourage
you to use poetry as another tool for resiliency,
and to be heard. Lets walk together through
the opened door.
look forward to listening to your words.
idea of using poetry to support children, teens, and
young adults probably germinated years ago, when Amy
with poet therapist, Anjana Deshpande, facilitated
an all-day workshop for women in their community.
Through poetry and journaling, in a safe environment,
the women examined and expressed feelings. It was
a wonderful day! Amy and Anjana felt as though they
had discovered something special. As 2011 Montgomery
County Poet Laureate, it occurred to Amy that she
could offer this to kids who needed to find a way
to communicate their emotions and the challenges of
their lives. Amy credits a Middle-School teacher for
helping her, a shy girl, by encouraging her own poetic
voice. Teaming up with Montgomery County Poet Laureate
Programs Executive Director, Joanne Leva, and
Anjana, Amy hopes to reach out to surrounding counties,
and children, teens, and young adults. A pilot program
partnering with NHS Human Services of Montgomery Countys
Youth Advisory Board is an exciting first step.
(5 min. sprint)
"Since we last met, what has been going on with
Group Share (10 min.)
Ask if anyone would like to share anything in their
journals they have written since we last met.
Use a painting/photograph as workshop theme (15 min)
Ask: what gets your attention? First thing you notice?
2. Ask: what do you think is happening in this picture,
from girl's perspective?
3. Ask: what title would you give to this picture?
I AM AN OBJECT WITH AN EMOTION:
First, go around the room and each person share
what object they are. For example, I am a teapot.
Next, go around again and everyone give an
emotion to the object they are For example, I am
a caring teapot.
Giving voice to whatever you want to describe in the
picture (15 min.)
Return to the picture
Become an object in the picture
For example, be the bars, the balloon, the
Give the object/thing human thoughts and
feelings and a voice
Remember surprising comparisons and similes:
I am as ___ as the ___
Example: If you are the bars, you might say,
"I am as soft as the nighttime" or "I
am cold as a cruel mouth."
Group Write (30 min.):
Putting human thoughts and emotions on something that
to your original object (or select another)
to be your object
deeper and write from its viewpoint
five senses we have used before in poems: touch,
hear, see, taste, smell
Examples of some things to think about: How
does the object feel? What does it see?
Write (15 min): I USE TO BE/ BUT NOW _______
I USED TO BE/ BUT NOW_______
may want to try your similes
every line must begin: I used to be but now
I am _____
the last line highlights a strength or something
you feel positive about and begins with the words:
And now I am ____
- 5 Min. Sprint:
Write in journals things that have happened in your
life over the last 3 months
Good Closure (15 min.)
student work was respected
2. the journey is coming to an end
3. they have the tools to practice resiliency in
the face of hard times
entire group stand up, make a circle holding hands.
Go around the circle and have each person state one
thing learned from this experience.