Around this time every year, things get kinda hectic at ASFA-CW. Readings, applications, interviews, outreach visits, senior theses, college acceptances, classes (of course)…and more! It’s a special place to be, where opportunities and challenges abound, and we wouldn’t have it any other way! In keeping with that attitude, here’s Linda Sue Park’s TED talk, “Can a Children’s Book Change the World?” Her answer? [SPOILER ALERT!] No — but the kids who read them can. (Can a CW department change the world? No — but the students who navigate its steady stream of opportunities and challenges certainly can!)
Our first senior reading is in the books! Lauryn-Elizabeth and Allison led off the “season” with a homerun of an event — great work, good fellowship, and a fun time had by all.
In case you missed it (or just want to relive the moment), here are some excerpts from what Allison and Lauryn-Elizabeth read for us, along with a few words from both of them about what it was like to write the pieces they’ve excerpted here.
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?!
We’re always excited to share what we do and why we do it, so Open House is always fun times for us. Here are a few links to check out if you’re interested in ASFA-CW:
Nuts + Bolts (Poetry + Fiction)
Selected Resources for Young Writers
For posterity (and/or if you weren’t lucky enough to be in attendance for last week’s “My Favorite Poem” event at ASFA), here’s a list of our readers and the poems/poets they favored — with links! Thanks so much to all the participants…
Anna Butcher (Hoover) | ASFA-CW Senior
Ben Allen (Vestavia) | Pharmacist
Beverly Radford (Cook Springs) | Retired Educator
Andrew Brown (Vestavia) | Actor/Comedian
Lauren-Elizabeth Dewberry (Pell City) | ASFA-CW Senior
Judy Jones (Highland Park) | Retired Banker
Brielle Morrow (Montgomery) | BTW-CW Senior
Linda Williams (Fairfield) | Banker
Murray Vella (Homewood) | Nanny
J.D. Peppers (Crestwood) | Stylist
Lee Gaines (Montgomery) | BTW-CW Sophomore
Lisa Oestreich (Downtown Birmingham) | Physician
Jack Royer (Mountain Brook) | News Anchor (CBS 42)
BTW-CW Chair Foster Dickson
We’re pleased to report that our annual My Favorite Poem event was a smash success. Many thanks to the folks at Reed Books, Birmingham Arts Journal, as well as our ASFA-CW parent group, all of whom worked hard to make it happen. Thanks, too, to our friends and fellow creative laborers from the Booker T Washington Magnet High School in Montgomery, who joined us as well. Thanks to the generosity of the large crowd on hand on Friday night, we’ll be able to send a check for over $650 to the BTW Fame Board, which will be earmarked to help the BTW-CW department recover from the recent fire that decimated the school’s campus.
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!