In 1985 poet Ross Talarico began a grassroots program in creative expression in Rochester, New York. As the program came together, so did the community--young and old, poor and privileged, even those who could not read or write but wanted to tell their stories. This book is a testimony to the poetry that experience produced. An exhilarating account of a successful experiment in promoting community self-expression, "e;Spreading the Word"e; interweaves the participants' stories with Talarico's own life, his struggle as a poet, and the drama of his workshops. The book will be both a resource and an inspiration for teachers of writing, writers, and those who simply wish to learn to write.
Drawing on his workshops in Rochester, Talarico describes a unique approach for eliciting poetry from people of many ages and backgrounds--particularly underpriviledged urban kids and the elderly. The process--from dialogue to self-expression to publication to public event--illuminates the urgency and meaning of releasing the spirit captured in each man and woman and child's experience. "e;Some people say that Ross Talarico has done the impossible,"e; the "e;Today Show"e; remarked of his success in Rochester; and with this book Talarico offers the same opportunity to others. Teachers, community leaders, parents, and children will be able to follow his practical, hands-on approach to encouraging self-expression in diverse, even unlikely, settings. They will see here how poetry is indeed relevant, ever more crucial to our identity as the culture evolves--how it is, finally, the place where the inarticulate can come to speak for themselves.
Spreading the Word
Duke University Press
Poetry and the Survival of Community in America
Education & Reference /