I delivered a series of workshops at a local high school this fall, including both Urban Ecology and Spatial Poetry. I felt there was a really big nexus where the two meet. The observation of the urban environment, both the natural and built world, lends itself to poetic description.
I remembered that earlier this year, I attended a program hosted by our Long Beach Department of Youth Development, called “My Hood, My City.” The City partnered with the Youth Leadership Institute. My Hood, My City – Youth Leadership Institute. I thought it also fit neatly into this nexus.
The program worked with youth to learn more about their own neighborhoods, historically or contemporarily, and to lead other members of the public on a tour of the locations that were meaningful or significant to them. I participated in the North Long Beach Tour, which met at our Michelle Obama Neighborhood Library. It was a great example of letting youth lead while providing them with a creative outlet that became a medium for self-expression and community activism.
This picture shows our tour stop at nearby Houghton Park and Doris Topsy-Elvord Community Center.
More pics from Spatial Poetry and Urban Ecology
Thanks for sharing this, @JacquiV! I like the remix you did here and agree with you that there is a big opportunity for these two activities to overlap. This chance for youth to not only learn and explore their neighborhood but also express their creativity is something we should encourage more often!
#activities:spatial-poetry This is my updated Canva presentation I used with some of the high school classes I presented to in December. We turned the examination to the spaces we inhabit as lands that belong to the Indigenous people, the Tongva People. We looked at some different poem formatting and devices. The outcomes were pretty nice. I used some examples from my own workshops, online poetry, and a few beta testers’ examples that were shared in our forum. This was only broadcast to my students. I found that the instructional zine was not so important for these students, but we did discuss the zine content with the whole group.
This workshop could be steered even more to the Spatial Poetry and #activities:urban-ecology intersection.