Poety and Youth

Last weekend, I did a reading and Q and A at the Vintage Theater with other local published authors (thank you to everyone who came out!). One of the questions we were asked is how we got started. Just about everyone on stage stated that we started writing in high school, due to a writing class we had with a supportive teacher.

I had a wonderful teacher in 9th and 12th grades, Mrs. James, who pushed me to continue writing poetry and crafting articles for the newspaper. When I arrived at West Chester University, I had two phenomenal creative writing workshops with Kate Northrop, who constantly challenged and pushed the students, making our critiques of each other’s work stronger. Even more importantly, she recommended to us different poets to read based on our style. I’m still grateful to her for lending me books by Mark Strand and Charles Simic when I was trying to write imagistic lines.

I mention all of this because young writers need encouragement and support. I never would have become a poet without that. One of the teachers at the Tunkhannock Area School District is trying to provide such support to her students and bring more poetry into her classroom. High school English teacher Katie Watkins Wisnosky has launched what she dubs “Breaking Ground Poetry SLAM” for her students at Tunkhannock. This Saturday, from 6-9, they will read at the Vintage Theater in Scranton. Before they take the stage, Lauren Zuniga, a nationally touring SLAM poet, will perform a 30-minute set. Zuniga is currently ranked in the top 5 female slams poets from the 2012 Women of the World Poetry Slam. She is the founder of Oklahoma Young Writers and the 2012 Activist-in-Residence at the University of Oklahoma.

For more information on this event and Wisnosky’s efforts to bring more poetry and creativity to her classroom, check out this article from The Scranton Times.

Advertisements

About Brian Fanelli

I'm a poet, teacher, music junkie and much more. My first chapbook of poems, Front Man, was published in 2010 by Big Table Publishing. My full-length book of poems, All That Remains, was published in 2013 by Unbound Content. My latest book, Waiting for the Dead to Speak, was published in the fall of 2016 by NYQ Books. My work has also been published by The Los Angeles Times, World Literature Today, Harpur Palate, Boston Literary Magazine, Kentucky Review, Verse Daily, Spillway, Portland Review, and several other publications. My poetry has also been featured on "The Writer's Almanac" with Garrison Keillor. Currently, I teach English full-time at Lackawanna College.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s