Wednesday, March 16, 2016

#13 Barrio Writers Workshop at KIPP Austin

Before the holiday break, BW Founder Sarah Rafael García taught 1-class period workshops at KIPP in Austin, Texas. She was hosted by an empowering high school teacher (and poet) whose goal was to influence her students through creative writing—Yay for Ms. Minde!

For the next few weeks we will be featuring Ms. Minde's students on our blog! During the workshops the youth read, wrote and shared as a community (60 mins: 20-reading, 20-writing, 20-sharing). They read and discussed works by Tim Z. HernandezJasminne MendezRene S. Perez II and Barrio Writer Jesse Castillo!

After reading, they were asked to respond to a writer by doing "blackout poetry" or writing their own poem/story in similar style as the writers read in the workshop.
“Blackout poetry” is poetry made by blacking out the words in a text with a permanent marker, leaving behind only a few choice words to make a poem.
After writing, all the students were offered the opportunity to share their work and receive feedback from their peers. They were also invited to share on our blog!


Today's work is by Taviana Collins, she created her own poem from "Home" written by Tim Z. Hernandez and published in Natural Takeover of Small Things by University of Arizona Press.
Barrio Writers disclaimer: We do not censor youth, we allow them to use curse words as a form of expression—freedom of expression—as long as it is not aimed to a particular group in our community. In our writing, curse words are used as adjectives, to express emotions. We support our youth & their freedom to express themselves.
Here is Taviana's "black out" poetry:

'Home'

life is slowly fading
three hours after being smashed
beneath the retread wheel
a packing house that was raided by the feds
knocking down lamps turning over beds
employed to make do
piles of bodies as they ran out
trying to protect themselves
Highway 99,
arms up in dead heat, shouting
the names of children,
in elementary school,
we knew this was the beginning
of a fxcked up generation.

—Taviana Collins


Check out her process! Powerful poem Taviana, keep writing!


Monday, March 14, 2016

#12 Barrio Writers Workshop at KIPP Austin

Before the holiday break, BW Founder Sarah Rafael García taught 1-class period workshops at KIPP in Austin, Texas. She was hosted by an empowering high school teacher (and poet) whose goal was to influence her students through creative writing—Yay for Ms. Minde!

For the next few weeks we will be featuring Ms. Minde's students on our blog! During the workshops the youth read, wrote and shared as a community (60 mins: 20-reading, 20-writing, 20-sharing). They read and discussed works by Tim Z. HernandezJasminne MendezRene S. Perez II and Barrio Writer Jesse Castillo!

After reading, they were asked to respond to a writer by doing "blackout poetry" or writing their own poem/story in similar style as the writers read in the workshop.

After writing, all the students were offered the opportunity to share their work and receive feedback from their peers. They were also invited to share on our blog!


Today's piece is by Jordan Vela, he created his own poem through freewriting!
Freewriting: often done on a daily basis as a part of the writer's daily routine, usually for 5, 10 or 15 minutes. Write without worrying about spelling, grammar, or making corrections (revisions or editing). It’s one way to reduce writer’s block and develop a natural voice. If you reach a point where you can’t think of anything to write, then write that you can’t think of anything, until you think of something else to write.
What makes Jordan's words empowering is that he uses his own life routine to create thought and give us insight on a youth's perspective. He helps us relate to him, while we think of our own days. Here is Jordan's poem:


Getting Ready

Everyday I get up at 5:55
I eat, shower, and put on my
Polo and khaki pants. Then when
I leave at 7:00 or 7:10 I
always ask myself, "Will it be a good day or a bad one?"
I also pass by my church and pray that it will be a good day.
I get on the bus telling my mom I got here safely.
Everyday she tells me be careful
and to behave and that she loves me.
But I still question myself will be a good one or a bad one.

—Jordan Vela



Check out Jordan's submission to Barrio Writers! Great poem Jordan, keep writing and sharing!


Friday, March 11, 2016

Featured Barrio Writer: Armani Scott

Selfie!
“I’m going to live life unapologetically, because I’m proud of who I am, and I’m not going to apologize for who I am anymore.”—Ingrid Nilsen
Name is Armani. I’m currently 17 years of age. Born in Atlanta but raised in Nacogdoches, Texas so I consider myself an eccentric southern belle. I dance, write poetry, do yoga, read, and cook for fun. Poetry is my passion though, because it’s where I feel most free. To me, the most important thing I think my audience should know is that I’m a young African American feminist. Just being that, I have a million stereotypes against me but I continue to rise from the ashes in rebirth.

Armani will be a BW writing assistant Summer 2016 at SFASU in Nacogdoches, Texas. This summer will be her second year with Barrio Writers and she will be leading a workshop.

A Day In My Life

September 30th

Hi guys! I'm Armani. 16 & 10 months. Junior in high school.
        Fall semester has been boring. Other than starting back up the writing club at my high school. Most of the people that have turned up are really cool & write some really awesome stuff. We're starting our very first workshop tomorrow. It's been 4 weeks so I'm pretty sure we're all comfortable enough to start giving each other feedback. I really can't wait till our school starts mega lunch so we can start meeting more than just once a week.
        Aside from that, I was recently published in Zaira's journal & Yellow Chair Review's Horror issue. Since I submitted to those two I haven't really been submitting to anything because I lost my USB *tear emoji* but I'll be purchasing another pretty soon & I'll be back in shape. I'm thinking about starting my own blog & updating daily (or just often) & I have officially decided on a Pen Name so *smiley w/ halo emoji* I'm just not sure when I want to do that. Hopefully soon though because I have been writing ALOT & I need an outlet.
        I think adults forget what it's like being in high school & my peers don't realize that they're not the only people with problems & I think if these things were brought to peoples attention we could all help each other out. That would probably be the goal of my blog. I'd start with talking about my own crap & then move on to giving advice to anyone who reads...
        Switching topics.
        Random but one of my cats paws got stuck in a bike chain & since we live in the country a vet is really far away & I had it all wrapped so it could heal but he took it off & so now his toe kind of hangs & you can see the bone. It's gross. He has an appointment for Saturday though. I keep referring to him as "he" because he doesn't have a name. I have too many to name them all. (5 is alot, ok?) I blame him getting hurt on him being a boy & really playful & curious but cautiously curious (Get it? because curiosity killed the cat? *laughing emoji*)
        I wasn't sure how much I was going to write for this blog but I think this pretty much sums up my semester. Crash course in my life. But, until next time.

Babay! (bye in haitian creole lol)
—Armani Scott