Art Room: Guest Poet

A poet came inside from Sacramento Poetry Center to do a reading and run a workshop. Whenever I have a guest artist, I step back and assist them, and listen to his or her presentation. I give them the floor to impart whatever realness and insights they can conjure up and share.
This guest poet usually speaks to children in elementary school so his way of relating to children carried over some into his presentation to my class. Some cats thought he was being condescending my co-workers, a teaching artist also thought the guest artist was talking down to the group. I freferred not to jugde for that moment. But when the the guest read a nursery rhyme type poem and recited it in a goofy unhip way, I asked him to recite some of his own work.
He had assumed we had no knowledge of any classical poets. He brought up Robert Frost in a way as he was introducing us to him. When in fact I use Robert Frost's work in my class as a lesson.
This guest kept reading other poets work and I kept prodding him to read his own text, so that he could connect to the group and break away from his regular elementary school presentation. A presentation that was blinding him from seeing how deep our group was. It was his first time inside prison. Towards the end of his class he finally got it, after I had a student or two read some of their work. He read one of his poems and connected a little.

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