I cannot imagine my life without words. I love words, love them for their sounds and their meanings. I love what happens when we play with them. In a residency I encourage students to not only find their words, but also the power within them.
I left writing to teach high school social studies, then left teaching to write. As a COMPAS artist-in-the-schools, my two favorite occupations collide. I have my MA from Hamline University in Creative Writing. I’ve had over thirty short stories and poems published, and am co-author of the book,Twelve Branches (Coffeehouse Press).
I believe it is important for students to know what words can do. During a residency, students will write original poems or stories, working from models that we’ll use as triggers and examples of writing tools. Simile, metaphor, alliteration and personification are the types of tools discussed, and applied. I believe it is important for the students to know what words can do. How words can make us laugh, make us cry, take us to another country, another time. Often the work the students complete is part of the course requirements or arts standard. I can tailor our week together to address certain themes or types of writing. I keep an online journal of student writing (writeworks), that allows students, teachers, parents, and anyone connected to the web to read their work.
Students will write every day. We will read poems or stories each day that we will discuss to help students both understand the piece of writing and the writing tools used within them. Come Friday we will have a reading, or make a class journal, or type up writing to be posted at www.writeworks.net, an online journal of student writing.