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This Saturday: Oakland Youth Poetry Workshop Kicks Into Gear!

By Harriet Staff


A team of Bay-Area poets are teaching what looks to be a brilliant, five-week youth poetry workshop, beginning this Saturday, at the Bay Area Public School. It’s called the Oakland Youth Poetry Workshop and hip-hep-hop-hurray do we like the sound of it!

The inspiration for this workshop came from Zack Haber, an Oakland-based poet and substitute instructor at Oakland Unified School District, and the workshop is co-coordinated by Emji Spero, a letterpress and performance artist (and poet!).

Oakland poets Lindsey Boldt, Brittany Billmeyer-Finn, Emji Spero, Ivy Johnson, Housten Donham, Kate Robinson, and Stephen Novotny will lead the way in each week’s new installment, teaching workshops with topics that range from editing to collaborative writing.

The workshop is free (!!!) and there are still a few spots left!

To register, contact oaklandyouthpoetry@gmail.com with your name and the name of the workshop that you are planning to attend.

The Bay Area Public School is located at 2124 Broadway (at 22nd Street).

According to the workshop’s press release:

Oakland Youth Poetry Workshop is a series of free workshops where youth can develop their writing in an environment of playful exploration of poetry on the page. These workshops hope to create excitement about poetry, help youth become more confident in their writing, connect youth with the wider Bay Area poetry community, and connect them with an audience for their poetry. No previous experience with poetry is required! These workshops will occur in two five-week-long sessions. We will meet every Saturday for four weeks and have a poetry reading on the fifth Saturday! The work-shops will be led by local Bay Area poets/educators, writing materials will be provided and there will be snacks!

As Lindsey Boldt, who plans to co-facilitate a workshop on collaborative writing with Kate Robinson, explains:

I’ve been writing poetry with young people in San Francisco for years now, but haven’t had the chance to work with young folks here in Oakland, so I’m looking forward to learning about their experiences of living here, like what they’ve observed about their specific neighborhoods and communities and what they’ve seen change or stay the same. I’m also excited to be leading a workshop within the freeschool framework. It will be a welcome change from working public school settings, which are often not the most conducive places for creativity or independent, critical thought. The Oakland Youth Poetry Workshop will be a great opportunity to experiment with more non-traditional approaches to poetry and potentially more politically charged content. It’s great fun to collaborate with fellow teaching artists and poets and I’m looking forward to co-teaching the first session this Saturday with Kate Robinson. Hooray! It’s gonna be great.

For more information, contact oaklandyouthpoetry@gmail.com or visit the Bay Area Public School’s website.

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Posted in Poetry News on Friday, June 21st, 2013 by Harriet Staff.