Monday, February 15, 2016

#4 Barrio Writers Workshop at KIPP Austin

Before the holiday break, BW Founder Sarah Rafael García taught 1-class period workshops at KIPP in Austin, Texas. She was hosted by an empowering high school teacher (and poet) whose goal was to influence her students through creative writing—Yay for Ms. Minde!

For the next few weeks we will be featuring Ms. Minde's students on our blog! During the workshops the youth read, wrote and shared as a community (60 mins: 20-reading, 20-writing, 20-sharing). They read and discussed works by Tim Z. HernandezJasminne MendezRene S. Perez II and Barrio Writer Jesse Castillo!

After reading, they were asked to respond to a writer by doing "blackout poetry" or writing their own poem/story in similar style as the writers read in the workshop.
“Blackout poetry” is poetry made by blacking out the words in a text with a permanent marker, leaving behind only a few choice words to make a poem.
After writing, all the students were offered the opportunity to share their work and receive feedback from their peers. They were also invited to share on our blog!

Today's piece is by Kevin Mar, he created his own "black out" flash fiction response to an excerpt from Seeing Off The Johns written by Rene S. Perez II and published by Cinco Punto Press.

“Flash fiction” is fiction that is extremely brief,
typically only a few hundred words or fewer in its entirety.

Seeing Off The Johns is about how youth in a small town in Texas deal with grief after losing two popular students from their school. Here's Kevin's response piece:

Would you want to come to this country if you had money? I said. No, but I'm not rich. The family needs money as ever. But they are not here, I said.

You know people have been sneaking into this country to see their loved ones, Henry said. My uncles came over by coyotes and saw some people.

The country looks Mexican. I said.

Well yeah. It's mostly Mexicans.” 

—Kevin Mar

Check out his process! Powerful statement Kevin, well done!