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Poetry in Pandemic Times

by Alicia Craven, Director of Education, Seattle Arts & Lectures

In this year of remote learning, support from The Creative Advantage has allowed schools to provide essential creative outlets for students to process and respond with vibrancy and curiosity to a world outside that can feel alternatingly both rapidly changing and static.

One example is through Writers in the Schools, (WITS), a program of Seattle Arts & Lectures. Founded in 1994, WITS brings professional writers—in poetry, prose and comics— into public school classrooms throughout the Puget Sound Region for extended creative writing residencies.

During this year of remote learning, the program has continued with writers beaming into elementary through high school classes for creative writing lessons to help students develop and strengthen their authentic writing voices and become authors of their own lives.

To the Moon by Stella Hoffman Logan, age 10, Dearborn Elementary School, Fourth Grade

Dear Moon,
where do you go when you
disappear you aren't
fiery like the sun
but you are beautiful
in all your serene glory
how can you stand
all that darkness that 
surrounds you
chasing you
following you wherever you go
isn't it sad? all that
no light?

Dear Human,
I disappear into darkness when
the sky wraps me in its cool yet
warm presence
I fade away
I know I'm not fiery
and darkness is my home
that's how I stand it
but how can you stand all that light
chasing you wherever you go
isn't it so bright?
All that light,
no darkness?

When in-person schooling was paused last spring, WITS moved their annual Year-End Reading event to an online format, and celebrated student work through recorded videos and both a digital gallery and printed posters of student writing. We are all grateful to be part of a creative constellation of youth arts programming in this city!

Learn more about WITS and the sister program, Seattle Youth Poet Laureate.