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Teaching Poetry for Joy and Justice
December 17, 2020 at 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm CST
Through poetry, we invite our students’ lives — the “landscape and bread” of their homes, their ancestors, their struggles and joys — into classrooms as subjects worthy of study. While students learn the language of the academy about stanzas and line breaks, similes and metaphors, they must first learn that poetry can be playful, that it can use ordinary, everyday language, and sound like their grandma or their aunts laughing together on the front porch, that it can be written in house slippers. In this poetry workshop, participants will reclaim any part of our lives that society has degraded, humiliated, or shamed, and raise it up, share it, and sing praises to the “unanimous blood/of those who struggle,” as the Salvadoran poet Roque Dalton urged us in his poem “Like You.”
Linda Christensen is the director of the Oregon Writing Project at Lewis & Clark College, a Rethinking Schools editor, and author of Reading, Writing, and Rising Up: Teaching About Social Justice and the Power of the Written Word, Teaching for Joy and Justice, and co-editor of Rhythm and Resistance: Teaching Poetry for Social Justice.