Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Poetry Choice: Poetry by Children

This collection of poetry by young writers was compiled by the WritersCorps. This organization gives inner-city teens the skills and encouragement to explore this difficult writing genre. WritersCorps operates in New York City, San Francisco and Washington D.C.. They teach and mentor young writers then collect and publish their best works.

A major contributor to this cause, writer Isabel Allende, also wrote the foreword.
The work here is an excellent jumping off point in helping wrap young minds around poetry as an alternative mode of expression.

Breaking the kids into discussions groups regarding this collection and the writer's situations can be natural bridges to comparisons and empathy. As a follow-up, have the teen writers try their hand at writing out their experiences putting it all that out there in rhyme.

Twelve Days

12 winos drinking

11 crackheads tweaking

10 rats eating

9 hookers hookin'

8 dogs barking

7 babies crying

6 cats sleeping

5 robbers creeping

4 gangs shooting

3 guys screaming

2 cars rocking

and a hobo taking a pee.

Cameron Contos-Slaten (age 12)

DeDonato, Colette. 2004. Contos-Slaten, Cameron. "Twelve Days" p. 65. City of One: Young Writers Speak to the World. San Francisco: Aunt Lute Books.

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