Wednesday, March 16, 2016

#13 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 work is by Taviana Collins, she created her own poem from "Home" written by Tim Z. Hernandez and published in Natural Takeover of Small Things by University of Arizona Press.
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 is Taviana's "black out" poetry:


life is slowly fading
three hours after being smashed
beneath the retread wheel
a packing house that was raided by the feds
knocking down lamps turning over beds
employed to make do
piles of bodies as they ran out
trying to protect themselves
Highway 99,
arms up in dead heat, shouting
the names of children,
in elementary school,
we knew this was the beginning
of a fxcked up generation.

—Taviana Collins

Check out her process! Powerful poem Taviana, keep writing!