Bonus SOL: Girls Gone Wild-ly Literary!

Every year Symphony Space has a special show for students in adult literacy programs.  It’s called “All Write!” and it’s a two-part program of readings.  In the winter, participating programs get a packet of stories and poems to work on, and at the first performance we get to hear those stories and poems read by actors — ‘real’ actors, to answer the question students always ask, people they’ve actually seen on TV and in the movies.  Then we have about six weeks to work with our students on poems and stories of their own and send in class submissions.  Out of the several hundred pieces they receive, the folks at Symphony Space choose about 50, and when we go back for the second performance in the spring, it’s to hear the same actors read again … but in the second performance, they read the stories and poems written by the students!  It’s really a fabulous show.  At the end, all the students get to go up on stage for an enthusiastic ovation from the audience, and they get to meet the actors, and then we all go home feeling inspired and happy.

(And here’s the story I love to tell about how great an experience it is.  One year, my students and I were waiting outside for the theater to open.  A cab pulled up and out stepped an impossibly tall, unbelievably beautiful man in full Masai warrior dress.  The crowd outside the theater fell silent, we all stepped aside and let him pass.  He was an ESL student whose piece had been chosen for the reading.  He had written about his life back home and had come to represent.  It was too gorgeous.)

Last term I sent in poems by both Valerie and Sandy.  And last week I got the letter telling me both poems had been selected for the May 22nd performance!

I couldn’t wait to tell them.  Sandy was her usual unruffled self: “Really?  That’s cool, Miss.”  Yes.  Very.  Valerie practically burst into flame.  “Whaaaaat?!” (high-pitched scream followed by launching herself first into my arms then into Jeovany’s).  “Are you serious?!” (another squeeze, this time of my hands and then my arm).  And then some really funny and adorable dancing around because she just couldn’t contain it.

So yes, I’m serious.  Both poems will be given dramatic readings on May 22nd.  I’m so happy for them, and so proud.

I’ve already posted Sandy’s poem, but now I have Valerie’s permission, too, so here’s tonight’s poem:

Where Am I From?

I am from a place very
     far and yet so deep.
A place within.
A place so dark not
     even a cat can see.
A place so quiet but
     yet so loud.
A world so cold.
A world full of so much
     pain and tears.
A world of trusting no
     one but there’s always
     that one that gives you comfort.
A world I know I will
     never be happy in.
A world of misery.

 

Can’t wait until the 22nd!

6 thoughts on “Bonus SOL: Girls Gone Wild-ly Literary!

  1. So beautifully written, but so sad!
    What a wonderful opportunity for these two girls!
    Loved the phase, “practically burst into flame.” What a great way of describing the excitement!

    Like

  2. Thanks, everyone! I’m so excited. The whole evening program is going to go to the performance. There’s one other student who had a poem selected (and that’s rare, that three people from the same program would be chosen, so that’s pretty exciting, too!), so we’ll all go and cheer for them. It’s really such a great, big “Yes” for the students.

    Like

Your turn ...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s