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Family Day at the Poetry Center

March 29, 2015 , , , , ,

Yesterday I visited the U of A Poetry Center to find inspiration for my month of writing poems. Much to my surprise I arrived in middle of a special event. Family Day is held once a month in the winter months. Graduate students lead activities designed to stimulate interest in different age groups. I was given a name tag and asked what age group I wished to attend. Since 60 and over was represented by the docents I hung out with them for a few minutes asking questions.  The groups were gathered with leaders coaxing them to collaborate. The toddlers were drumming and drawing on the floor.  The teens were making up ironic statements about dental hygiene (which were very funny).  The middle school group was on the patio writing odes.  I took a place at the end of the table where I could hear them, but would not disturb them.

I listened to them praise mother and father, bamboo and bugs.  The work was brilliant and astute.  I spoke to the leaders after the session. They are graduate students studying creative writing.  They said that the activities here leave them completely uplifted and amazed every time they do it.  The kids blow their minds, just as they had mine.  I did some drawing and free writing while half-tuned into my fellow poets on the rock.  That was what I had come to do, so I spent 15 minutes on the task.  The snacks were being served and the band was playing in the courtyard, so I hustled on out to see what else was happening.

hula hoop and band

hula hoop and band

Chalk was provided and words had been applied to the concrete.  Hula hoops and a live band made the festive atmosphere complete.  The kids clearly loved Family Day.  The parents were pleased too.  A beautiful work of art was made on the spot by graduate students in art education.  Poems written by the kids that day were written on the background.  It was a resounding success.  I realized that I had come at the perfect time after all because the kids have the pure innocent free wheeling creativity I want to generate next month.

There were two typewriters set up for people to try, and they were popular.  The catering consisted of perfectly ripe fruit and muffins, perfect child fare.  I enjoyed the ripe pineapple, strawberries, and honeydew melon.  I felt like I had attended one of the best children’s parties ever.  The band even included a saw player, and what could be better than that?


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What a great time you must have had.! it would be a great family event for sure!


Stevie Wilson (@LAStory)

March 29, 2015

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