Offerings from Northwest Arkansas and a writing exercise

This week I am in Northwest Arkansas (the Western Arkansas Education Service Cooperative in Branch, to be exact) facilitating a writing workshop for teachers.  Oh, what a week this has been.  I have heard some extraordinary writing, from  clearly gifted writers and teachers.  There is nothing like the exhilaration from hearing the stories of others, stories begging to be written, needing to be written.  Everyone has been so enthusiastic too–overall just a wonderful experience.  I hate that it has to end.  I hope some of these teachers consider applying to attend our writing project summer institute or the one in Fayetteville.

Then there was Claire Pence, the workshop coordinator. Everyone should have a Claire in their life. We love Claire!

This morning we did a workshop on heart maps (check out something similar here at twowriting and Monda led us in a workshop on I am poems.  We were to take an image from the list below (or come up with our own) and write about who we were as that object.  You could take it all sorts of different directions, such as finding a metaphor for someone close to you and writing about them.

Here are the metaphors:

I am:

a hammer, a broken screen door, a seed tick, the river, a closed fist, an oar out of water, a pair of boots, the rain, the circus freak, a tick, a chain stitcher among tapestry makers, a pick up truck, a three legged dog, a relic, the energizer bunny, an open book, a closed book, the wind, a storm, darkness, sunshine.

Why don’t you try your own?  Here’s mine:

I am

A long, long book.
to the first page.
You may wrinkle your nose: Too many
pages.  Too many words, too close together.
Not enough pictures.
But I promise,
if you keep reading, keep turning
my pages, I will return your attentions, give back
everything you gave to me.
And I keep
my promises.

Stephanie Vanderslice

Bye y’all. Happy writing!


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2 responses to “Offerings from Northwest Arkansas and a writing exercise

  1. Cindi

    Thanks for sharing about your workshop! How fun. I wish I were qualified to do what you’re capable of. Your poem is wonderful. Take care, Cindi

  2. tim

    I miss the summer institute! God, it was WONDERFUL. Thank you again for granting me the opportunity to attend last year. I am going to whip up some I am poems right now. I’ve been working on a new I Am From poem, and it’s shaping up nicely. I’ll have to share them with you when they’re in more shareable states.

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