by Mary Rechner
Rather than heading down the hall or the up the stairs to get to their class taught by a WITS writer, Lincoln High School students hit the streets, and walk to the Portland Art Museum.
At the request of Lincoln High School teachers Tracey Wyatt (who teaches English) and Cindy Irby (who teaches Art, Art History, and Art Appreciation) who wanted their students to explore possible connections between written and visual art, WITS partners with the Portland Art Museum to provide creative writing residencies inspired by art in the Museum’s many galleries.
This spring WITS writer Cindy Williams Gutierrez is introducing students to a broad sense of ekphrastic poetry (poetry written in response to another art form), ranging from poems that depict an art object, to poems written in personal response to an object of visual art.
Students are exploring the literary devices of metaphor, simile, and rhyme, as well as the visual elements of space and pattern in poetry, including positive and negative space, and poems with recognizable patterns on the page.
Toward the end of the residency, students will begin revising and polishing their drafts into finished poems, and will practice reading aloud to prepare for the free public reading taking place at 6:30 pm on May 13 in the Whitsell Auditorium, which is located on the lower level of the Museum’s Belluschi Building