• Teach This Poem – Academy of American Poets

     

    The Academy of American Poets

    A great resource for anyone in creative bibliotherapy! I wanted to share their news of an award they just received and just rejoice in their merits, what a great poetry organisation!

    The 2018 Award for Innovations in Reading Prize for Teach This Poem.

    I used this resource not to teach a poem in a school setting, but to discover a new poem and get hints about how best to use it with the group – whichever group I happen to be working with.

    When I select poems to bring to a group, I use a few resources, the main one my own memory.I connect a few poets, themes, and the muse provides something too..

    Imagination brings it home and I have a session usually with 5 or 6 pieces and exercises for people.They will be the planned content for my Wee Read expressive reading and writing sessions, that usually last about one and a half to two hours.But things can often change from the plan. That depends on who is there,- how I feel, or, what I intuit from the feel of the group. It’s not an art that is easily taught. Practising it is the only way to get the hang of it I think.

    Another great source from the Academy of American Poets that really helped me to build up a store of poets and poems I can use is the ‘Poem a Day’. You can sign up for a daily poem sent to your email inbox. Worth it just for a bit of inspiration!  When you are starting to facilitate poetry sessions, you want to have plenty of resources to have at hand. So a daily reading schedule for yourself is a big help, and the daily poems from the Academy can be a great boost as well.

    Just as I was browsing there today, I see a celebration of Walt Whitman’s birthday by Allen Ginsberg  

    A double-dunt as we say in Glasgow.Enjoy reading and browsing this brilliant website, plus it has audio and videos.

     

    Walt Whitman

    One’s-self I sing, a simple separate person,
    Yet utter the word Democratic, the word En-Masse.
    Of physiology from top to toe I sing,
    Not physiognomy alone nor brain alone is worthy for the
    Muse, I say the Form complete is worthier far,
    The Female equally with the Male I sing.
    Of Life immense in passion, pulse, and power,
    Cheerful, for freest action form’d under the laws divine,
    The modern man I sing.

     

     

     

  • Wee Read at the Hope cafe today Wednesday 22nd July 2015

    At The Hope Cafe today, we wrote postcards to say things we wanted to say but had been unable to.This proved to be a good way of unloading stuff,  getting things off our chest. As Ted Bowman says, “If it’s unmentionable, it’s unmanageable”.

     

    weeread logo1

    Another writing prompt was: ‘my favourite childhood place..’ after reading Larry Butlers’  poem ‘Safe places I knew as a Child’ which starts:

    “Sitting on the toilet reading comics
    the door locked – Donald Duck, Mickey Mouse,
    Goofy, Superman, Bugs Bunny, Elmer Fudd,
    I could sit for hours with a pile of comics

    up a pine tree swaying that the top
    looking out across the neighbourhood
    I could climb trees all day, slide down branches
    and build a tree house with my friend Donny …”

    Later, we listened to some howling with Allen Ginsberg:

    “…yacketayakking screaming vomiting whispering facts and memories and anecdotes and eyeball kicks and shocks of hospitals and jails and wars,
    whole intellects disgorged in total recall for seven days and nights with brilliant eyes, meat for the Synagogue cast on the pavement,
    who vanished into nowhere Zen New Jersey leaving a trail of ambiguous picture postcards of Atlantic City Hall, …”
    -an extract from Allen Ginsberg’s Howl,
    more here :

    If you want to try writing something,write a postcard to someone, anyone, or a rant or a howl or a list!Whatever you write is right!
    Go!

    We explored our depths with a prompt called ‘Diving In’  – into expressive writing. We used a set of words that have more than one meaning, like: ‘bear, cleave, there, desert, sewer, skirt, run …’ This produced some very interesting pieces of writing!And a lot of laughter!

    Here’s some of the piece I wrote :

    Child of the Universe

    I cleave like a limpet, a clampet, onto the cliffs,

    I’ve survived the biggest storms- not  let go my hands,

    I can now see over the horizon.

    I can become a lighthouse, a lifeboat

    – I can become anything I want to be.

    Wildness and wild places are where I’ll be,

    they’re hame, they’re where ah need tae be.

    I’ll write of the howl, I’ll write of the wolf

    sit and look at the moon,

    or that lovely new heart on Pluto.

    I cleave to tenets, truths, revelations,

    honesty, beauty,

    kindness, generosity, love,

    hope, faith.

    Allowing all the water of the seas to roll over me,

    wash away all my troubles relieving the weight on my back

    and

    just sit

    with what is…

    C. Cather