As we trickled into the Girls Write Now headquarters on Saturday morning, there was an unspoken magnetic buzz in the air. The lights were off, but the sun was doing a remarkable job of seeping through the big windows and giving the room that subtle autumn glow that makes mornings so special.
That day at the workshop, mentees and mentors were introduced to narrative poetry. Rather than jumping straight into writing a poem, the pairs constructed a poem from the ground up. We began by brainstorming characters, adding a scenario, and writing a story.
With help from our special guest poets, Dorothea Lasky and Camille Rankine, we considered what defines poetry. We observed its rhythm, breaks, language, look, and the feelings evoked by reading it. We then turned our stories into poems by deleting words, inverting sentences, and adding more descriptions while maintaining the element of storytelling. To switch things up a bit, we also took each other’s characters and scenarios and made narrative poems out of these new prompts.
From The Workshop
- Kiara Joseph, Mean Straws and Hard Decisions
“I’ve woken up
in a dark place
a cold place
a dangerous place
Why can’t I go home?
I want to go
Here is not my home.”
- Kiara Kerina-Rendina, Golden Daughter
“As if he
Had melted the gold in his own pot
And dipped the very paintbrush inside
As if he, himself
Brushed over everything
On The Blog
“I grew up with privilege, both in my race and social class, but I too have felt the misogyny that permeates through many writing communities. I can’t even imagine how empowered I would feel right now if I had an experience like Girls Write Now growing up. The girls there are lucky to have such a tremendous group of mentors to learn and draw from. But we are also lucky to have these girls, because they are going to grow up strong, brave and changing literature for the better.”