ART & WRITING AWARDS
Click here for the full article.
ART & WRITING AWARDS
Click here for the full article.
The Western PA Writing Project is pleased to host a symposium:
Pedagogy in the Poetry Classroom
Mirror Poems: A Mirror for Teaching Poetry
Comic Simile and Metaphor Portraits:
Harnessing Middle School Energy for the Greater Poetic Good
Discussion on Teaching Poetry
Click here to access the full flyer.
Last month, a group of WPWP fellows left their troubles behind and traveled to Oglebay Resort and Conference Center in Wheeling, West Virginia for the 2013 Fall Writing Retreat. Twenty-six fellows attended the retreat, and enjoyed the weekend of writing, sharing, socializing and relaxing.
Saturday’s workshops were led by two inspiring writers; Tony Norman and Sharon McDermott. Tony’s workshop stimulated fellows to write truths about their lives and experiences. Sharon’s workshop moved participants to compose captivating poetry. Other weekend highlights included the notorious potluck dinner on Saturday night, as well as fellow-led writing activities on Friday night and Sunday morning.
We were saddened to learn of Bobbi Bates’ recent passing. It was an honor that we were able to spend time with her at the retreat. As always, Bobbi’s writing inspired and challenged us.
On a beautiful fall November morning, about 60 WPWP friends, family members, and teacher and student authors gathered in Posvar Hall to celebrate the publication of The Poetic Classroom. WPWP Fellows Cj Coleman, Christine Wolfe, and Ella Macklin shared the story of the poetry workshops, research process, and teachers’ and students’ creativity that produced this valuable book of poetry lessons, reflective narratives, and student samples. Christine Stroud, Autumn House Press, described the design decisions in creating the just right cover and book formats.
Christine Wolfe, co-editor, and coordinator of this successful book launch, shared how teachers of art, science, and English language arts from Kindergarten to higher education developed teachable and engaging lessons that inspired students to write in revealing and original ways. Matt Luskey, co-editor and WPWP Director during the Poetic Classroom project, sent greetings and remarks from his new home in California. In a moving tribute, Matt wrote,
If one had to distill the experience of hundreds of writing teachers to a few lines, they might read the last stanza of our dear friend Bobbie Bates’ poem, “To Forget,” which she produced at one of these workshops:
Remember summers when bougainvillea laces your trellis
and larkspur thrusts among the rowdy phlox,
Times when you crop the hollyhocks for seed, spreading pips
across the soil.
Along with our dear friend’s poetry, I am inspired by the teaching innovation evident in these pages. The lynchpin connecting the wheel of firsthand writing experience with the axle of teaching is adaptation. You can’t simply reproduce a Jan Beatty poetry workshop. Who could? The Poetic Classroom is a book of student and teacher poetry housed in narratives of adaptation.
More than 20 WPWP teachers wrote lessons and poems for the book and 50 students contributed poems. Email wpwp.pitt.edu if you’re interested in contributing to WPWP in order to receive the new WPWP book, The Poetic Classroom.
Matt Luskey, WPWP Director from 2009-13, recently accepted a position at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo as a Writing Instruction Specialist in Cal Poly’s Center for Teaching, Learning and Technology. Matt’s appointment offers him yet another exciting intellectual challenge and he and his immediate family will be closer to extended family in California. It’s hard to imagine WPWP without Matt’s voice at the table of partnerships and collaborative endeavors he fostered and co-led with distinguished WPWP fellows. With over five community partnerships, a cohort of exceptional WPWP Teaching Fellow leaders, Young Writers’ Institutes serving over 200 K-12 students, ongoing school-based professional development, and in-touch continuity events for new WPWP Fellows, Matt has been an outstanding director of the WPWP.
Stephanie McConachie, Visiting Assistant Professor, Language Literacy and Culture in the School of Education and a former National Fellow at the Institute for Learning at the University of Pittsburgh, is serving as Acting Director of WPWP over this academic year. The School of Education will conduct a national search for a new WPWP Director.
Congratulations to the following Pittsburgh Region recipients who also received national recognition from The Scholastic Writing Awards:
The 2013 Writing Renaissance was a huge success! Over 20 fellows gathered in the Dean’s Colloquium Room on the University of Pittsburgh’s campus on Saturday, April 27th to reconnect, rejuvenate, and write. Coffee, tea, and words flowed all morning as fellows had the opportunity to write a few creative poems led by Nancy Krygowski.
Nancy Krygowski works as an adult literacy instructor at the Greater Pittsburgh Literacy Council. She also teaches in Carlow University’s Madwomen in the Attic writing program. Her first book of poems, Velocity, received the Agnes Lynch Starrett Prize from the University of Pittsburgh Press. She is also a recipient of a Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Individual Artist Fellowship and a Pittsburgh Foundation Grant.
For the past two years, the Western Pa Writing Project has been a proud partner in Hear Me 101: A Social Advocacy Media Production Program, sponsored by The Heinz Endowments and supported by the Grable Foundation. This year in collaboration with Hear Me, CREATE Lab, Pittsburgh Filmmakers, and the Consortium for Public Education, the WPWP has worked with students in Clairton, McKeesport, F.U.S.E. (Wilkinsburg), and Steel Valley on the writing and production of short documentary films, canvassing a range of issues from school attendance and dress code policies to reputation and safety.
Please join the Hear Me 101 community on May 21st for a special screening and panel discussion.
Hear Me 101 presents…
Following the screening of student films, panelists who work in the fields of youth, media, and advocacy will discuss the theme of youth as stakeholders in their education and the role that art and media plays in empowerment. WPWP fellows, Michelle King and Matthew Luskey, will moderate the panel discussion.
All are welcome. The event is free. Hors D’oeuvres and light refreshments will be served.
Every September the quest for gold begins for young writers in Allegheny County. Students, grades 7-12, submit written works in eleven categories to the 90-year-old Scholastic Writing Awards Competition. Since 2011, the Western Pennsylvania Writing Project has hosted the Pittsburgh Regional competition for the national contest. This year the Pittsburgh region received over 300 entries, spanning nine different genres of writing and nearly 1,000 pages.
In 2012, three Pittsburgh gold key winners won silver keys at the National level in New York. One young lady won a scholarship to Kenyon College. This year Pittsburgh young writers won six national gold keys in New York, including an American Voices Medal in poetry and a thousand dollar New York Life scholarship. See the list of National Scholastic Art and Writing Award Medalists. The national celebration for the Scholastic Writing Awards will be on May 31, 2013 at Carnegie Music Hall in New York City.
We are proud of all the young writers who participated locally and nationally. With your support, the WPWP will continue to grow the Scholastic Writing Awards and other community-based writing programs. Thank you for helping to make Pittsburgh such a writing-rich city!
On Saturday, April 6, teachers from the Pennsylvania Writing Project Network convened in Pittsburgh for a rich day of inquiry into the Common Core State Standards. The event was hosted by the Western Pa Writing Project and featured workshops on rigorous CCSS-aligned instruction and assessments conducted by the Institute for Learning.
The WPWP is grateful to IFL fellows, Tabetha Bernstein-Danis, Stephanie Kane-Mainier, Allison Escher, and IFL co-director, Anthony Petrosky, for their generous time and expertise. We are thankful as well for the dedicated teachers across the Pennsylvania Writing Project Network, including those with Endless Mountains Writing Project, Philadelphia Writing Project, Pennsylvania Writing and Literature Project, Capital Area Writing Project, and the Lehigh Valley Writing Project, for joining us in a day of collaborative and collegial exchange.
To see what inquiry looks like, please visit the WPWP’s Flickr page, A Day of Common Core.