Slideshow from PTSA meeting

If you missed last night’s PTSA meeting and would like to view the slideshow from my brief presentation about the ways MLWGS has expanded stress management support for students over the past two years, please click on the image below.


If you have any questions, feel free drop by the library.

Comments Off on Slideshow from PTSA meeting

Posted by on May 3, 2017 in news


Challenge deadline extended to May 12

To give Pre-AP Spanish students time to finish studying “Two Words” by Allende – AND perhaps to create an erasure poem or found poem from the story’s first page, I’ve extended the poem challenge deadline to Friday, May 12th.

If you haven’t heard of erasure or found poems before, here are examples of each:

  • Two erasure poems from Mary Ruefle’s Little White Shadow
  • A found poem of mine, “The Training of the Hand,” published in December. A brief introduction describes the source texts; all the words in the poem are from those sources. I selected, sequenced, and arranged them to create the poem.
Comments Off on Challenge deadline extended to May 12

Posted by on April 26, 2017 in news


Poem challenge!

In celebration of National Poetry Month and the shift in our MLWGS curricular focus to Latin America, here’s a poem challenge:

Write a poem inspired by, built from (found poem), or carved from (erasure poem) one of the following sources:

  • Venezuala’s Tiananmen Square Moment: The Woman and the Armored Truck (CNN, 20 April 2017)
  • The opening page (in English or Spanish) of Isabel Allende’s story “Two Words” from The Stories of Eva Luna (copies of the page available in the library and in PDF until April 28). If you write a found/erasure poem from the Spanish, please provide an English translation.

Submit your poem by Friday, April 28th.


All entries will be posted on the library’s chalkboard wall and included in a drawing for a copy of Tarfia Faizullah’s poetry collection Seam.

Comments Off on Poem challenge!

Posted by on April 21, 2017 in news


Book-length erasure or found poem projects

These projects strive for transformation or re-invention of sources rather than the documentary representation reflected in Tarfia Faizullah’s Seam.

Sometimes these works even depend on the destruction of the original source; this method is most evident in the work of Phillips and Ruefle.

Would you call these excavations? defacements? something else?

Doing this type of work with the intention of publishing requires attention to copyright, so most writers and artists work with sources in the public domain. For more information on this topic, read the Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Poetry. For links to online archives that include sources you might use to create your own such project, see the sources page of Poetry River.

Contrast these projects with video documentary poems created in collaboration with filmmakers, photographers, and musicians. This poetry has a strong visual element too, but similar to Faizullah’s poems in Seam, strives to represent sources authentically. Examples include video poems produced by Kwame Dawes and Natasha Trethewey . Links to their projects can be found on the docupoetry page of Poetry River.

Which of these document-based or document-inspired approaches appeals to you? Why?

Try a method discussed in this blog post or the previous post about news poems, found poems, docupoems, and erasures.  Transform a familiar poem published before 1923, or use a news article as a source. If you opt for the latter path, here are three articles you might use as sources:



Comments Off on Book-length erasure or found poem projects

Posted by on April 6, 2017 in news