Monday, April 30, 2018

a poetry-collaging workshop at the southeast branch of the reading public library in late april 2018.

during the last weekend in april, i hosted my poetry-collaging workshop at the southeast branch of the reading public library along perkiomen avenue between south 14th and 15th streets. what i love most about hosting this workshop lately is the wide variety of ages of young kids to sometimes even older adults who enjoy it so thoroughly. another mother and a daughter joined us toward the end and also began creating some really neat collages, like others who were there all along. but each collage is always its own flicker of feeling, a glimpse into who a person is and what that individual is going through energetically at any given moment. so we'll all create a different collage every time we labor to make one.

a necessary poem for the world by khalid guiden—a last gift to his grandmother as "the black girl."

a week ago, i visited firefly bookstore in kutztown as one of several guest poets before an open mic; the owners hosted this as a poetry night to celebrate national poetry month in their gem of a shop. and they had a great turnout with an enthusiastic, very receptive audience. i literally loved the night, as the vibe was so people-supporting.
the open mic portion of the evening ended with a kutztown university student reading a poem for his grandmother who passed away recently. i approached him afterward and told him his poem was meant to end the night, i felt solidly sure. i then asked him if he would mind if i shared his poem about and for his grandmother, as well as photos of the two of them, and i am very grateful that he agreed to my request. after taking in its lines and especially his elocution, i knew it needed to be put in front of more people in our world. the poem speaks for itself, and to me, it plays a necessary role in the now of our lives across people.

the black girl
by khalid guiden

to the black girl with skin so dark that all light is consumed within her melanin
did you know that no light can escape a black hole
they say it has a gravitational pull that sucks in all beauty
and isn't that the same conceptualization of the dark pigmented black girl
that she's void of all beauty
but what they didn't tell you
is that all light is attracted to the black girl
because it is all beauty that radiates from the black girl
bending and consuming all light around her
the black girl manifests the immaculate image of god herself
and time itself has to stop when the black girl breathes
as she controls everything within her vicinity
so to the black girl with skin so dark that all light is consumed within her melanin
i thank you
you are a true blessing

khalid guiden is a sophomore at kutztown university. as one could possibly nod at in understanding easily from his writing, he is majoring in sociology with a dual minor in psychology and professional writing. on campus, he's the co-president of the sociology club and vice president of the NAACP chapter

after he learned from his mother that his grandmother had been put into hospice and that she wouldn't live for hardly more than a few weeks, devastation found its way into his marrow. helpless at knowing what to do once his mother told him this news, khalid decided to write a poem for his grandmother. 

a couple of days before she passed away, he read this poem to her over the phone. not sure in those moments if she fully grasped what he conveyed to her, he knew he'd done one more right thing in an often wrong-feeling world by giving her this poem as a gift in her final days so that she would sense the energy of his love for her, that it would emanate into her subconscious mind's transitioning space. and already being in tune with thinking along these lines, once i met khalid, i sent him my recent article on grief which i wrote for berks county living magazine's april 2018 issue.

this poem stood as khalid's last words to his grandmother before he told her he loved her and said goodbye over the phone since he couldn't be with her in those days. i cannot imagine any more beautiful of something to give to someone who means so much to you. all the more reason why i am glad to be sharing these words and for young people today to see the immensity of their value and how essential it is for not just themselves but everyone they reach in our shared days across the invention of math and age.

eye-scenes from april 2018 traveling poetry classes during national poetry month.

combined in one collection here are photos from april 2018 poetry classes mid-way through the month and on the second-to-last day, respectively at the bakery in st. peter's village featuring nayyirah waheed as a focus and students' writings and then river poems and more in pottstown. in what feels like the most important month of the year as national poetry month, it is a little challenging to picture it's truly ending tonight until 2019. but that's why i push poetry onward everyday. it's difficult not to when you're in these bones.

also, kumquats as citrus-babies are changing the world. at least i notice this is true when i share them with people and they try them for the first time. so they work well at poetry outings, too.


our usual spot by the schuylkill river could not be reached due to water filling up its own separate pond near the trail, so we spent our afternoon on benches yesterday. here is the path which we used to walk to get to our favorite spot for class. land can change so much in a short period of time, especially with rain. there is a much deeper lesson here, of course.

Sunday, April 29, 2018

a poetry workshop called ''word mangling for fun & profit'' by marilyn klimcho at the hamburg public library.

last weekend at the hamburg public library, marilyn klimcho of berks bards hosted a poetry workshop called word mangling for fun & profit. this workshop served as a part of our efforts in celebrating national poetry month.

i enjoyed the workshop, too, although i'm not in the photo because i labored behind the camera to collect these pictures of the afternoon. but marilyn made some great points about the history of words and how they change over time as well as ways to think about tweaking endings of what we write in order to see other possibilities throughout a particular piece.

traveling poetry classes in may 2018 @ towpath park in east coventry & also st. peter's village.

may 2018 traveling poetry class info is now ready.

next classes–

when: sunday, may 6 @ 1 p.m. & sunday, may 27 at @ 1 p.m.

where: for may 6*, towpath park in east coventry township along route 724 @ 1675 new schuylkill road, pottstown, pa 19465; for may 27, (before heading to the rocks) the parking lot across the street the inn at st. peter's village at 3471 st. peters road,  st. peter's, pa 19470 or elverson, pa 19520 depending on the maps site you use or your GPS unit 

*due to weather, we'll be meeting at the schnitzel haus nearby on may 6.

optional themes of focus:

    sunday, may 6–river poems (& r.h. sin poems)
    sunday, may 27–rock & creek poems (& charles bukowski poems)*

any topics of creative writing are welcome for sharing and workshopping during class by those who attend, but we have inspirational topics as prompt ideas, too. please bring a few copies to share with other students, if you can, for anything you write and want to practice reading as well as discussing. but just having your original copy to read from is okay, if that's easier for the writer.

*i'll also be teaching a poetry-collaging workshop (all ages are welcome) at culture den in st. peter's village this same day from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. this event will be held every last sunday of the month from may through at least august 2018.

cost: $20 per student, per class (we usually meet for 2 hours or more)

if we ever have oddly inconvenient weather around the time of classes, i will update those who RSVPed to classes in advance to let them know if we are canceling, rescheduling, or relocating.

if you have any questions, feel free to reach out via poetrywithjenniferhetrick at yahoo dot com.

and if you know anyone who may be interested in our class, feel free to share this blog content onward.

also, if there is anyone who may want to join our class but lives in another area across berks, chester, and montgomery counties, we sometimes travel to a good variety of different places, so let us know, and we can see about planning classes closer to you.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

a poetry-collaging workshop at culture den in st. peter's villlage: more workshops are scheduled from may to august 2018.

a week ago, i co-hosted a poetry-collaging workshop with culture den in st. peter's village. we had such great feedback from those who joined us that several folks requested for us to host this workshop monthly. so we'll be offering it on last sundays of the month from may through august from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.

the dates are—

may 27 - june 24 - july 29 - august 26

enjoy some collaging-scenes below in bringing some worthy attention to national poetry month.