Friendships, Community, and Poetry

Friendships, Community, and Poetry
Posted on 02/26/2019
This is the image for the news article titled Friendships, Community, and Poetry

The collaboration of artistry and friendship five years in the making continues on. Since the fall of 2014, students from the Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts Creative Writing/Media Arts department and high school students from the American School for the Deaf in West Hartford have collaborated on an ongoing poetry project, but it is so much more than that. Roughly twenty students, ten from each school, participate.

The students meet once a month at their respective schools during the school day, to write poetry, to learn about language(s) and communication, and to learn about the differences and similarities of how other young people, each being a community that the other would never have a chance to know otherwise. This has been such a valuable human experience for all involved, with poetry as the vehicle through which the students connect.

At each session there are teachers and a translator facilitating. There is usually an icebreaker game, and then an exercise or two that gives students the opportunity to write poetry as individuals and in groups. Then students are encouraged to share their work with each other, either spoken, signed or in a combination.

Examples of the established goals and measures of success are the writing that students create, the fact that students from both schools are enthusiastic and interested in being part of the experience, and the overwhelmingly positive responses received from students who participated in past years. It is important that this project continues to grow at its own pace, as it is far too precious an opportunity to force.

This program started very organically, with no expectations of performance or presentation, though a small chapbook and PowerPoint presentation have been created, and the ASD students joined the Academy’s Intermezzo the last two years. Last year, there was joint reading at the Universalist Church in West Hartford. This year, there will be giving readings at Real Art Ways in March and the New Britain Museum of American Art in April.

Share on Facebook   Share on Twitter