ASFA-CW Sprints to the Fall-Semester Finish Line!

Who says nothing happens in school after the Thanksgiving Break?! Clearly whoever says/thinks that has never seen the goings-on around here — where, if anything, we’ve picked up the pace as November (and the fall semester) comes to a close. To wit:

Just between Tuesday and Thursday of this past week…

  • We fired up the short bus to go visit our writing compatriots in the 5th Grade at Princeton Elementary, where we talked about the importance of sensory detail and we wrote about our favorite foods;
  • We took part in an enlightening, invigorating, and highly interactive ASFA-Theatre workshop based on the work of August Wilson and presented by visiting teaching-artist (and former ASFA student) Nikki Toombs of Kenny Leon’s True Colors Theatre Company in Atlanta;
  • And poet and editor Dale Wisely, co-founder of One Sentence Poems (among other cool literary magazines), visited our CW Practicum classes to talk about how he balances work, life, writing, and literary citizenship. (Oh, and PS, he also announced that the editors of One Sentence Poems have nominated ASFA-CW senior Anna Butcher for a Puschcart Prize, her second such nomination this month!)

That’s in addition to a flurry of critiques and subsequent revisions as our students prepare to submit their final portfolios in December. Again, we ask: who says it’s all coasting after Turkey Day?!

Young Creatives Unite: ASFA Seniors in CW, Visual Arts, and Dance Combine, Collaborate, and Experiment to CREATE!

We’re working with our colleagues in the Visual Arts and Dance departments again this year to create interdisciplinary performance pieces that combine visual, linguistic, and kinesthetic modes of creativity. It’s always a great learning experience, and the work is always just as great. This year’s theme is “Wearable Art.” Can’t wait to see what these talented folks come up with!

ASFA-CW 2017-18 Year In Review

Another year, another laundry list of challenges met, achievements earned, and lessons learned. Below the break, you’ll find an impressive list of the tangible successes our students have won this year; the pictures above are worth a thousand words awards, though. They speak to, well, ASFA-CW’s bigger picture, c. 2017-18… Continue reading

Young Poets Unite: Poetry Out Loud in Alabama!

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All schools are their own little galaxies — with their own sets of stressors and opportunities, triumphs and challenges, values and traditions — and, as such, they can sometimes feel like self-contained centers of the universe. Within each school community, the poets tend to find their niche on the fringes; their orbits tend to be elliptical to their school-galaxy’s epicenter.

That’s why programs like Poetry Out Loud are so great: they’re intergalactic. All those elliptical young poets come together from far and wide to compete — but, more important, to meet — with each other. In the process, they get to form their own epicenter for a little while, smack-dab in the middle of the parallel universe of poetry.

One such epicenter formed yesterday at the Alabama Shakespeare Festival in Montgomery, where the Alabama State Council on the Arts and the Alabama Alliance for Arts Education partnered to present this year’s state finals of the Poetry Out Loud competition. In the morning round, ASFA-CW’s Ashley Tate joined fourteen other talented poets in the Alabama Original Poetry Recitation category, then later in the afternoon, eleven other equally talented students competed in the main event — the National Poetry Out Loud category, in which students recite poems by poets as diverse as Philip Larkin, Nick Flynn, Kazim Ali, and Margaret Walker. The parallel universe of poetry was well-served, and we were glad to be a small part of it. Thanks to all the sponsors, teachers, and most of all the young poets who made it happen.

Slideshow: Author Sheree Renee Thomas Inspires ASFA-CW to Turn Off the Editor and Tune In to the Creative Spirit

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This past Friday, as a part of the Ron Casey Visiting Writers’ series at ASFA-CW, we were graced by the presence of Sheree Renee Thomas, who read from her latest multi-genre collection, Sleeping Under the Tree of Life, and then inspired us all with a set of feeling/thinking/writing exercises that encouraged us to shed our preconceived notions of what (and how) we’re “supposed” to write. Below the break, check out a few examples what we were able to create: Continue reading