A very special thank you to all of those who help make our programs possible! Today I would like to share some very special poetry created by teenagers in an Arts for All program.
Teaching Artist, Bonnie Pipkin, led a two-part performance poetry workshop with two ninth grade ELA classes at The Green School in Brooklyn. In the first session of the program, Bonnie gave her students a series of writing prompts all centered on the idea of home: Homelessness, Dream Homes, Home Away from Home, and Far From Home. Many students took this opportunity to draw from very personal experiences and deep from their hearts. The classroom provided a safe space for the children to share their work without judgment or expectation. The second session of the workshop was held on stage in the auditorium. After a crash course on slam poetry, they broke into groups to prepare their performances using writing from the week before. The class ended with every student participating in a performance.
The final, and very special, element of this workshop was that some of their work was performed by professional actors at Arts for All’s third annual Cabaret Benefit Performance, "Home Is Where The Art Is" held at The Kitchen in Manhattan. Following are some of the poems that were shared:
My dream home is to have marble floors
Black leather couches
White fluffy rug in the living room
I want a black puppy with long ears
I want some palm trees to be in my driveway
I want four kids named Jordan, Monica, Israel and Isabella
I want a black navigator, a white Honda and a black and gold Lexus
Home Away From Home
I’m not at home. I feel like there is something missing. Even though I was born here. I miss my REAL home. Where my parents came from. Where my grandparents came from. Where my whole family came from. My true place where I’m from. Where I know I belong. I feel that I don’t belong here. I wasn’t meant to be here. I don’t feel at home. I belong in Dominican Republic. The place I love.
The place I belong
Far From Home
Home is the boss and the boss is at the last level. Gotta beat those enemies or avoid them, but I gotta start from level one and go on every level an beat it. The weird things is, the boss is my friend.
In the crescent moonlight I lay awake in a never-ending field of grass. As I hear the wind scurrying and bursting through the grass, I think of the pain that still lingers in my heart that yearns for something night after night. I could hear the howls of hounds and wolves. I could feel the sadness and agony in their broken cries. I too knew their pain. Aimlessly I traveled across many fields, overcame many challenges to survive. In time I grew more resourceful, my reflexes sharpened but none of these skills matter. I’m in a never-ending mystery until I come across a hill. I climbed and climbed until I could see my little home.