Monday, February 22, 2016

#6 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.

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 Adrian Valdez, he created his own short story as a response to an excerpt from Seeing Off The Johns written by Rene S. Perez II and published by Cinco Punto PressSeeing Off The Johns is about how youth in a small town in Texas deal with grief after losing two popular students from their school.
Barrio Writers disclaimer: We do not censor youth, we allow them to use curse words as a form of expression—freedom of expression—as long as it is not aimed to a particular group in our community. In our writing, curse words are used as adjectives, to express emotions. We support our youth & their freedom to express themselves.
Here's Adrian's short story:

         It was Saturday and my parents left to the mall with my sister to go do some Christmas shopping. I found this new song and the bass was crazy so I went to the garage into my mom's car and connected it to the AUX cord. 
         Then I got a text from my friend Jonathan and it said, "hey, I'm in your hood for a party" and at first I was like okay but then I remember that I'm going to continue to be alone for at least 2 more hours and I was in the car already. I asked him for the address and he gave it to me and I was on my way.
          While I was half way there, I started to panic so I just made a right and went to Cesar's house. I still had the music blaring so I text Cesar to go outside but as soon as Cesar gets in the car my mom calls me saying she is on her way home. I turn around and tell cesar, "Fuck it, you're coming with me." We head to my house and act normal and once my parents show up, they drop off the things they bought and went out to eat with my grandparents and my sister went too.
           So I drop Cesar off at the party and then I go to my old school and just drive around with the music blaring, still. Once I get home, like 5 minutes later, my parents show up. It seems so small but the whole time I was freaking out.
 —Adrian Valdez

Check out Adrian's submission! Awesome work Adrian, we hope you keep writing & sharing your stories!