557924_10151438901040262_22072543_n

Missing You: Honoring Loss and Resilience in South Tucson

Read more from Readings & Workshops Blog
A blog from: The Staff of Poets & Writers
Posted by RW Blogger on 11.28.16

Teaching artist Marge Pellegrino recently led a series of P&W–supported writiimg_1671sng workshops for the YWCA’s La Escuelita’s summer program. Pellegrino has written about grief and resilience for children. Since 1999, she has directed programming for the Owl & Panther expressive arts project that serves refugees impacted by torture, trauma, and traumatic dislocation. Her book Journey of Dreams (Frances Lincoln Press, 2009) is a Smithsonian Notable Book, Southwest Best Book, and Judy Goddard Award winner for excellence in young adult literature. Her book Too Nice (Magination Press, 2002) is available in five languages.

Missing You Workshop Cohort

missyoucohort-544x306The neighborhood surrounding the House of Neighborly Service’s La Escuelita knows loss. Many of the youth who participate in the YWCA’s La Escuelita summer camp have family members who have died too young. Some have relatives who have been incarcerated. Some youth come from mixed-status or undocumented families who are separated from loved ones by deportation.

The series of five P&W–supported “Missing You” writing workshops invited neighborhood youth from five to seventeen years of age to explore new ways to hold memories and reach out to those they love. They played with writers’ tools to create a small body of work that tapped spatial and linguistic intelligences. They let their illustrations fuel a “simile portrait.” They felt the cadence in their “I Miss/I Remember” list poems. They composed letters to the people they love and imagined how the voice of that person might sound in an answer. Some of the participants were particularly engaged when they stitched together narratives that captured details of a time they spent together with the person they miss.

One morning they wrote about the metaphorical trash in their lives on scraps of colored paper. They ripped the paper up, put the small pieces in a blender with water, “transforming trash into treasure,” and created a beautiful handmade paper cover for their book, which held their own story of resilience. Their last exploration held up gratitude. They wrote about things they valued about a brother, a tio, abuela, or the mother who loved them, in order to feel how gratitude can lift their spirits, like the last line of a great poem.

Each workshop ended in sharing within the cohort—a time when their words traveled on sound, when they could see others respond to what they had kept tucked in their hearts. A time when the writing and sharing could break through the isolation caused by a buildup of grief and separation. Hearing the others’ stories let them know they weren’t alone with these feelings.

The series culminated in a shy and proud reading for the community elders.

Photo: La Escuelita “Missing You” workshop with Marge Pellegrino.
Support for Readings & Workshops events in Tucson is provided by an endowment established with generous contributions from the Poets & Writers Board of Directors and others. Additional support comes from the Friends of Poets & Writers.

Log in or Register to add a comment Printable Version Log in to Send Permalink Read: Readings & Workshops Blog

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Upcoming 2016 Library Workshops!

May 27, Gratitude, Green Valley, 2pm, kids of all ages
June 2, Four Fabulous Found Poems, Main, 10am to noon, teens
June 8th, Gratitude, 1pm, at Arivaca Community Center, all ages
June 14, I Remember, 11am- noon, Wilmot Library for adults & teens
August 25, Gratitude, Martha Cooper, 3:30 pm, all ages
Sept. 16, Write On!, Golf Links, 10am-noon, adults
Nov. 10, Starting that Story, Woods Library, 4pm, all ages
Nov. 19, Gratitude, Main, 2-4pm, adults

Dec. 2, Fabulous Found Poems, 11-12:30pm, for Eckstrom-Columbus’ adult “Make and Take” program

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Two Opportunities to Write in November

Nov. 10th, HAIKU! at Martha Cooper Library, 3:30-4:30 pm, all ages, freeDSCN4304

and

MASNoora_SelfPortrait-3-615x459Nov 12, Write On! in Tucson Museum of Art’s Museum as Sanctuary Gallery 10-NoonPutting words on the page supports resilience and mindfulness. Bring along your curiosity and favorite pen and notebook for this creative writing exploration inspired by the ground-breaking Museum as Sanctuary show at the Tucson Museum of Art featuring work by Owl & Panther expressive arts participants. No writing experience necessary. This two-hour workshop is facilitated by teaching artist/writer Marge Pellegrino, programing director of the Owl & Panther Project. The $25 cost for the two-hour workshop includes entrance into the museum. Register on line at https://www.tucsonmuseumofart.org/event/write-on

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Five Week Journaling workshop starting Oct. 6th.

The Healing Art of Journaling

I’ve always known that writers work with magic. What else could account for words that kept me turning pages and devouring stories? They had to be magic if they could create a poem with the power to make me weep, or an article that could get me off my chair and inspire me to jump into something new. Now that I am a writer, I understand that putting pen to paper or cutting out words and moving them around really is magic. For me, the process of writing holds that enchantment and the power to transform. Join me for five Tuesday mornings to ignite your neon words, center yourself, and discover on the page. Generate material for poetry, memoir, and essay while you feed your craft and find inspiration through a variety of prompts and techniques that offer self-illumination, validation, and the power to heal.

https://www.thelearningcurvetucson.com/classes/magic-words/

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Library Programs for Fall! Come out and write with me…


Sept 10
FOUND POEMS, Woods Memorial Library, 3pm, all ages

Sept 21
 ALTERED BOOKS, Dewhirst-Catalina Library, 10:30am-12:30pm adults and teens

Oct 15
I REMEMBER, Quincie Douglas Library, 3-4 pm, all ages

Nov 10
HAIKU, Martha Cooper, 3:30-4:30 pm, all ages

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Working with Magic: Journal to Empower, Illuminate, and Heal

http://www.thelearningcurvetucson.com/art11.htm Come play in the best of ways!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Check out ART.UNFIXED

Enjoyed the opportunity to share my passion in this new blog!
http://artunfixed.com/2014/10/22/art-inspired-writing/

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Journey of Dreams on Kid Lit About Politics

Thanks Liz Parrott and Kid Lit About Politics for sharing books that help kids better understand the world around them…and just maybe inspire them to engage.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Thanks BBC for coming to Tucson and covering the work!

http://bbc.in/17G9Ve4

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Thanks Vamos a Leer!

What an honor for Journey of Dreams to be featured on Vamos a Leer.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | Leave a comment