Sadness and strength


Hi class,

Thanks for being so awesome. I can honestly say through the roughest times in my life, one thought has always saved me. That is the idea that I can take whatever I am experiencing, no matter how heart-wrenching, ugly, painful or humiliating, and create some beautiful art from it. And the healing I feel through creating and sharing this work has helped me to recover greatly.


Write a poem about this week and what we have all experienced. Make it whatever length it needs to be for you to get your thoughts and feelings out. And please share it with me.

Also: continue to work on your group piece. Work in your shared documents and continue (or begin) to put your piece together. We should really have it pretty well fleshed out by our first class back after break.

Finally: Continue to keep a dream journal. Place it next to your bed, and write a dated entry for every dream you can remember. Write them immediately after you wake up, so you don’t forget anything. Even if you only remember a small bit. Of course the more detail you provide the more you will have to work with later.

P.S. Write a lot during break. HaveĀ some other new poems to show me after the break for extra credit. I


Many Voices As One


Hi class. Here is the homework due Monday Feb 9.

Both classes: Write a sixteen bar (line) rap that talks about yourself. Feel free to add some braggadocio and wordplay. Listen to a hip-hop instrumental while you write, and practice out loud as you are writing. Be prepared to share Monday.

AM Class (Cohort 2):

Continue to work on your individual parts and the larger scheme of how they fit in. Especially concentrate on your experience at Acera.

PM Class (Cohort 1):

Begin brainstorming and writing your part to theĀ group piece, which as we left it is essentially a meta-piece about spoken word/slam poetry and its tendency to be angsty or lethargic. I think there is a lot of possibility in this idea, and room for each individual’s perspective. There could also be a progression from critiquing to discovering-> understanding-> appreciating-> participating in the spoken word movement, as you all have done so well this semester.

Bottom line is: Look for ways to make this idea work, not for ways it will not. I expect to see some serious results on Monday.

Come together, right now, over…

Hi Class!!!

//Update: Since class was truncated by the invasion of reading buddies, the afternoon cohort has a different assignment than the group piece (You must still assemble your portfolio, though). You are simply to write about something that elicits a strong emotion in you. Something that enrages, baffles, saddens, etc. Let us feel that emotion in the writing and delivery.//

Missed you. I am back, Maya is back, poetry is back in full effect!

After today, our homework will be to

1) Assemble a rough draft of part of a group piece.

2) Print out portfolio of work (including every piece from inside and outside of class work, with favorites near the top, and every critical reflection [if you have handwritten anything, you can include that or a photocopy.])

Both due Thursday by class time, snow day(s) or not!!!


Words are the paints, pages our canvas, readings our galleries.

Hi. If you are having trouble remembering what is assigned each class, it is your responsibility to write it down so you are not dependent on anyone else. This is a skill you need to develop.

1) Write a rough draft poem from your parents story. If you need more details, ask them. Recording the interview helps because then you are not reliant on your own memory or speed of note taking.

2) Continue to work on memorization and performance of your spoken word pieces. Edit if necessary.

Critical reflection:

Compare/contrast two of the performances from the following page:

Have fun!

Mr. A

We’re Back!!!

Hi class. Glad we are back in the swing of things. Here is what you need to complete by Thursday:

1) Incorporating notes and feedback into your content and delivery of your spoken word piece. Work on memorization. Record yourself performing the piece again after practice and then watch and critique your performance. Perform the piece for another person (or group). Be prepared to deliver it Thursday with this work evident.

2) Interview a parent or guardian. Get them to share a story about themselves or an experience that you did not previously know. Hopefully you will get to know them a little better through this. Take notes/record the interview, and begin to think about how you will represent this in a poem.

Have fun. Let me know if you have any questions or need clarification.


Your Words Spoken and Heard

Hi class. Here is a recap of what is due for Monday, December 15:

1.) Rough draft of your spoken word piece. Think not only about how it reads on paper but also how it reads aloud. Practice it. If you get stuck, read it aloud from the beginning and see what pops out at the end.

2.) Write three (can be short) poems based off of your poem titles from our last class exercise. Have fun with it.

3.) Reflection on one of the spoken word pieces from this link. A couple of paragraphs will suffice since you have two other requirements this week:

I will be checking in with folks this week about their progress, so if you have any missing assignments get them to me ASAP.

Have a wonderful weekend, and be brave with your work!

Mr. Anthony