Wallace Stevens’ “The Man With the Blue Guitar,” a long, lyric poem published in 1937, was inspired by Pablo Picasso’s “The Old Guitarist,” which Picasso painted in 1903 (during his blue period) and now hangs in the Art Institute of Chicago. Stevens’ poem, entirely arranged in couplets, begins like this: (more…)
I was a tween before we even knew what a tween was. I am just that old. And legit. There were no emo-stained growing-pained love-maimed vampires for me, just the usual full-blooded adult fare courtesy of Anne Rice or Bram Stoker, thankyouverymuch. Still, I managed to read books that rocked my mind into bliss, tapped into the thrum of my adolescence and took my consciousness out those lame-o middle-school blues.
Here’s a run-down of my favorite reads somewhere between age 10 and 14. Add yours in and then let’s play MASH behind the bleachers.:
Top Five Proto-Tween Reads
1. Like Water for Chocolate, Laura Esquivel
2. Number the Stars, Lois Lowry
3. The House on Mango Street, Sandra Cisneros
4. Catcher in the Rye, J. D. Salinger
5. Lolita, Vladimir Nabokov (but only the first half, when it’s still sexy, and please note I thought Humbert was 100% reliable as a narrator at the time, and quite romantic; so I suppose I am saying – if you are the parent of a 14-year-old girl, please, for goodness’ sake, don’t try this at home.)
So, fellow-proto-tweens, what were yours? And any super-for-ser-tweens out there right now, how about you? Comment and share and whatever you do, don’t rename your Junior High crushes Humbert because you think it’s hot. It’s not. It’s creepy. Happy weekend, all!
Cecilia Galarraga is a new NY Writers Coalition workshop leader. She has just started leading the Imani House workshop at PS 282. As part of NYWC Day on May 18th, she will be leading a workshop at Lefferts Historic House in Prospect Park. Cecilia reported on the house’s own history and what it offers as a writing workshop.
New York City is a place rich in history and in story. We can go about our daily lives without thinking about it, with it invisible to us. But the structures around us in this city have been witness to that past: the subway stations, the streets, the very same buildings. If walls could talk, they would have much to say about the events that happened in and around them, and about the changes over time in their environment. (more…)
The teachers on this field trip are early childhood teachers working in low income areas with families living in poverty. Many New York daycare centers have onsite social workers and family workers to help families with basic needs such as food, shelter, health care, counseling and parenting workshops.
In the context of such immediate needs, families do not often get to the point on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs to warrant a trip to the museum. Also, families may feel intimidated by the atmosphere or by the cost. Many teachers are here because they are using their Cool Culture cards, which allow early childhood teachers, families, and students to enter many museums of New York for free.
Teachers were captivated by many of Keith’s’ pieces embodying simple symbols or playful human characters, animals and cartoons. They felt the children would be able to relate to the openness of the figures. The slideshow of Keith Haring’s subway drawings from the 70’s were a big hit, as teachers were old enough to remember seeing them. The idea of using chalk also appeals to young children, as it is temporal.
It’s Day 24. Have you written your poem-a-day? Gone to three readings a week (all April-long)? Have you shared your writing with the world this month? If not, no problem because there’s always May…and June…July, even. This week poet Geer Austin offers three online resources to keep fresh those writerly habits honed during National Poetry Month.
Poets on Twitter
The Academy of American Poets launched a series of guest poets this month featured on its Twitter feed. Each day during National Poetry Month, a selected poet posted his or her daily insights before passing the baton. But the thing is: These poetic Twitter feeds post all year! Add these to your roster: @POETorg, @tejucole, @arisaw, @32poems, and @poets to name a few. Poetweet year round.
The New York Review of Books
Hundreds of poems have appeared in the The New York Review of Books. This month, The Review‘s editors dug through the archives to choose 30 poems to feature each day during National Poetry Month. But in case you missed these postings, the selections will remain on the site all year long — in fact, you’re encouraged to bookmark the page and sift through the publication’s online archives of poetry yourself. Who knows what you’ll find after 50 years in The Review? (more…)