Coming out to do a little workshop as a guest speaker for the preteen writing club at the Richmond Public library was awesome, young kids eager to see something new put a really genuine spark into my day filled with my peers, who are similar minded hormonal teenagers who hate new things and hiss at the sun. ( Jokes)
My biggest challenge with doing this is I have no idea how 9-12 year olds think. At all. I know how adults think, I think?
I know how teenagers think. But kids are just so DIFFERENT. AND FOREIGN. I was one 4 years ago, and I wish I drew weekly diagrams of what went down in my brain.
But I do know what spoken word poetry is, why I love it and how I can try and make it exciting for any audience.
I went through poetic devices, what spoken word was and tried to explain the link between what they know about stories and how poetry is kind of similar. For most of them this was there first experience seeing this crazy weird thing called performance poetry and even if they didn’t quite understand everything, they were engaged and that’s the best thing for me. They laughed at the idea that poetry could cover any topic.
I just think it’s crucial for kids to understand that what they got taught in school about how poetry has to rhyme, poetry has to do this, that, be this, is so horrible and makes kids think they are bad at wrong and can’t write good poetry. Maybe in my mini-run through they got a better idea that poetry is NEVER wrong. Or whatever kids think. Maybe they thought about how the word Popsicle is funny.