Today I received a really smashing little packet of thank you notes from some of the students I worked with recently at an Austin elementary school.
Here are some excerpts from their letters, which lay to rest the ridiculous notion that children hate -- or are afraid of -- writing (especially poetry):
You're always talking about how to use your senses.
I now write good and I am INTO poetry!
Thankyou for teeching me how to do poutree.
You have opened up another job possibility for me when I get older. Thank you.
I learned so much. Like what vivid meant.
I am as brown as bark. Good one huh?
Now I know how to be a great writer. So keep writing your books and I'll keep writing my best.
Can't you just feel them buzzing? The kids I engage with consistently love working with words, find endless possibility in the world of metaphor, and proudly read their writing aloud.
I truly believe that creative work is a necessary counter-balance (or even an antidote) to the more circumscribed academic challenges these kids face everyday.
My manifesto: Art belongs in the schools. Vivid enough for ya?