Lincoln Students Learn the Art of Poetry at a Workshop
Published on 10/11/18
District News Lincoln Middle School
“It’s funny how one sentence can put a whole story in your head,” poet Tyler Barton said in response to a student’s six word poem.
A group of Lincoln seventh and eighth graders enjoyed a special visit from Mr. Barton and author Erin Dorney, who live in Pennsylvania but were in Syracuse for a Small Press Series event at Syracuse University. Through the hour-long workshop, students were introduced to the art of erasure poetry and learned that poetry is everywhere… if they are looking!
Students were provided with pages from old books, newspaper articles and printed celebrity interviews. They highlighted words that stood out, blacking out the rest of the words on the page to form their own poem.
“I read the page first to make sense of it,” eighth grader Caitlin Soler explained. “Then, when I see words that make sense and stand out to me, I pick them. It’s fun! I’ve never written a poem before, but I do like poetry. I’d do this again at home… I have lots of old books that I could re-use!”
Poems ranged from short to long; from silly to serious. Topics ranged from healing to grief and more.
One student simply wrote, “I smile at other people.”
Another authored the following:
The night had fallen.
On one star, a little prince said:
The flower that you love is not in danger.
I could take him and go
To such a place, the land of tears.
After spending time working on their own poetry, students had the opportunity to read their work to their classmates. What a wonderful way to help students put their creativity to use and learn about a new type of writing!
Thank you to Ms. Dorney and Mr. Barton for taking the time to lead the workshop, and to Lincoln Librarian Jennifer Groff for arranging the activity!