Teachers Act Up!

Thoughts on Teaching, Language, and Social Change from Melisa "Misha" Cahnmann-Taylor

Tag Archives: visual broadsides

Visual Broadsides of Anne Waldman’s Poems

One of the greatest classroom rewards of merging “teacher” and “poet” identities is infusing instruction with surprise: infusing a poetic quality to assignments that lead the instructor and her students to end up in new, unanticipated spaces.  Kapow!  I learn endless pedagogy lessons from poets and then, lucky me, I adapt these lessons for my own use.  Recently, one of my poetry mentor-goddesses, Dorianne Laux, came to town and discussed her use of “visual broadsides” with students.  This assignment asks students to engage with a poet’s work under study in a visual manner–lifting the words from the poem and landing them in a new, perhaps three dimensional, visual/literary context.

Inspired by her facebook album of students’ work, I studied Anne Waldman’s poetry with my students this semester through both performance and visual broadsides.  I regret I did not video record their marvelous performances, but I do have photos of the broadsides. They are stunning works of art in response to art.

I am humbled by what I am learning alongside students in this class and that they rose above any expectations I might have set for the activity.  Thank you to these students for sharing their work.  Shortly I plan to match the slideshow picture order with the student-poet name. Meantime, see the show!

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