A Blog of Seattle Arts & Lectures

Category: Writers in the Schools

Go Inside a WITS Classroom Visit with Ocean Vuong

In June, students from Franklin High School spent time with poet and fiction writer Ocean Vuong in a session they called “Breaking Virtual Bread Together.” SAL’s Spotlight Author visits, held through our Writers in the Schools program, connect young public school writers in WITS classrooms with world-class authors and thinkers like Ocean, who spoke as part of […]

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A young girl smiles into a camera backstage, wearing a silver necklace and denim jacket.

“Empire of Light, René Magritte,” by Ellery Burke

I look up I see the clouds so free and confident with the endless sky behind them I look down and see our lamppost the tree trunk and the things around me that fade away in the darkness I see the outline of the darkness hitting the light There is no pattern for this line […]

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A girl in her late teens, with braided hair, stands in front of a display of colored pencils, organized by color.

“A Poem For My Future Child,” by Zoë Mertz

Inspired by Sarah Kay’s “B” (or “If I Should Have A Daughter”) To my little chick, hidden away, not yet emergent, When you are born, your eyes will be planets reflecting the depths of the universe: moon-starer, they’ll call you, my young astronomer, a child of the stars. Chickadee, small and sweet, your feathers speckled […]

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A middle school WITS student stands proudly with her mother in front of a SAL banner. The student is holding her handwritten poem up.

“Home in My Heart,” by Lesley Torres

With every breath You savor The honey flavored Air With every glance You catch The sun beams that Light up the ranch With every hearing You perceive The cows and dogs living here The cars in the main road appear With every touch You feel Mexico in such A way that makes it stay In […]

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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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“Making a Poem Helps You Grow Up”—The WITS Year-End Readings

Because so much of the work of our Writers in the Schools program happens behind the curtain—in public school rooms and hospital rooms, in notebooks and on sheets of scrap paper, in classroom anthologies and letterpress broadsides—it’s always a remarkable moment when students take the stage at our Year End Readings. Across two nights of […]

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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: 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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“Remember,” by Kalea Anderson-Kriegler

Remember  Remember to pack. Remember to look out your telescope every day. Remember to tell your loved ones you’re leaving soon, until the final day comes. Remember to invite them to come to the rocket ship to say bye, and they will remember you, too. Then they will launch you into orbit and remember everything […]

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