A Blog of Seattle Arts & Lectures

Category: WITS Voices

A collection of letterpress letter stamps, all facing upwards, in different shapes and sizes.

WITS Voices: Writing Advice from 10th Graders

By Christina Lee Barnes, WITS Writer-in-Residence I’m often asked if my time in the WITS classroom helps inspire my own writing. While I haven’t yet written very much that is directly about my work with the students, I do draw inspiration from the willingness that students show to try out prompts, to dive in and […]

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WITS Voices: “She Does Not Know Her Beauty”

By Daemond Arrindell, WITS Writer-in-Residence “She does not know her beauty” is one of the first lines in a poem by singer-songwriter and performance poet Iyeoka Okoawo that I use as a mentor text in a lesson I facilitate about reclamation. Iyeoka is a Black woman of Nigerian descent from Boston. The poem provides a […]

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WITS Voices: Puesta del Sol and its New Poets

By Evelin Garcia, WITS Writer-in-Residence   Puesta del Sol y sus nuevos poetas El día de elegir al lector del año que representará a la escuela Puesta del Sol  llegó después de 8 sesiones de trabajo. 90 estudiantes y por supuesto 90 poemas eran los posibles ganadores. Para ser muy justos, pedí a cada uno […]

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WITS Voices: Poetry as Disruption

By Christina Lee Barnes, WITS Writer-in-Residence My first-ever WITS residency started off with a fire drill. I’d made it about halfway through my introduction when the loudspeaker cut me off with a garbled a reminder that students would file out to the field in the last ten minutes of class. Covert murmurs of excitement rippled […]

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WITS Voices: The Tale of the Eloquent Sixth Graders

By Laura Gamache, WITS Writer-in-Residence Good writing depends on the author or poet knowing far more about what they are writing than what they put down on paper, and the same probably goes for teaching. I have worked with Marianne Clarke and her 6th grade Language Arts students at TOPS K-8 for several years. She […]

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WITS Voices: Poems from The Red Pencil

By Kathleen Flenniken, WITS Writer-in-Residence Andrea Davis Pinkney has written a moving and imaginative story-in-poems for middle grade readers called The Red Pencil (Little Brown, 2014). The Red Pencil is a Global Reading Challenge selection this year and currently available as an audiobook to all Seattle Public Library cardholders until March 19. Amira is twelve […]

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WITS Voices: A Changing Port Townsend

By Peter Mountford, WITS Writer-in-Residence For the seventh year in a row, I’ve been fortunate to be part of a group of WITS writers who’ve gone to Port Townsend for two weeks in December. While Seattle has gone through some dramatic changes in these last seven years—to the extent that I sometimes get lost in […]

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WITS Voices: New Scene, New Opportunity

By Matt Gano, WITS Writer-in-Residence It’s been an incredible journey working as the WITS Writer-in-Residence at The Center School. My partnership with the esteemed Jon Greenberg along with scores of talented students over the years helped to shape me as a teacher and has inspired a lifetime’s worth of creative lessons and poetic ideas. After […]

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WITS Voices: Moody Autumn Gourds

By Alex Madison, WITS Writer-in-Residence In honor of the season, I thought I’d share a lesson I’ve taught seventh graders at TOPS K-8 during my two years with Writers in the Schools—it involves strange, bumpy, warped, and moody autumn gourds. I use these gourds, plucked from the QFC produce section, to teach my students how […]

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WITS Voices: Saying Goodbye to Hutch School

By Samar Abulhassan, WITS Writer-in-Residence Shout Out Poem (after Sekou Sundiata) Melanie, 3rd Grade, Washington, Hutch School Here’s to the greatest words this morning to one of the best places going down, Here’s to the blue noodles in one of my poems To the kids who have come and gone To the kids who are […]

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