The bittersweet truth: PageSlayers' second summer has come to a close...but this year’s campers slayed all day, every day! This summer was all about experimentation and playing with different forms, writing processes, and modes of creativity. The campers delved into found poetry, ekphrasis, mail art, yoga, zine making, screenwriting, and even made their own broadsides and postage stamps! Read on for our summer recap and fun pics from our end-of-the-summer show!
A found poem, by a camper who wishes to remain anonymous:
Arizona blooms the holidays to get natural instinct.
“Think, the fortress won’t charm kingdoms,” the secret girl explained.
“Dream, stronger, sleep best,” the King said.
“Drift for pure art and feeling,” the guard said.
“Dares of sympathetic heads of dead kings,” the native war spider stated.
“Pay your God, you’re not welcome. Pay him with your life,” the spider said.
The spider ate the girl.
A multitude of guest artists visited this summer from different professional fields within creative writing and art. We had the chance to learn about reverse lithographic poetry from author Roger Reeves, film and screenwriting from local filmmaker April Dobbins, mail art and zine making from visual artist Elia Khalaf, broadside creation from artist Najja Moon, and the integration of yoga and poetry from writer and meditation instructor, Becca Medevin.
The students enjoyed acting out their own screenplays, writing pen pals in Little Haiti, practicing meditation, and doing awesome collaborative work with one another during workshop. It was so exciting to see them open up, visualize the reality of creative professions, and consider how they themselves can become working artists.
Our students’ ability to create in a professional sense was underscored this summer by the release of one of our PageSlayers' first book! Javan Allison, a student at Norwood Elementary who attended our inaugural session and this year’s second session, co-authored the children’s book The Adventures of Javan and the 3 A’s.
This summer also brought along the Maroon Poetry Festival, a special event rooted in empowering and uplifting Miami through literature, especially within Liberty City. One of our past students, Avery, was able to perform his poetry in front of a large audience, and it was beautiful to see his confidence bloom on stage. While this summer went by quickly, we are so happy with how everything came together and we feel extremely grateful to be running a program that fosters a community of young writers of color.
And of course, we could never have accomplished so much without the incredible support we’ve received from the Knight Foundation, the Opa-Locka Community Development Corporation, Thrive Innovation District, the Miami Foundation, Locust Projects, Miami Dade County, the Miami Foundation, EXILE Books, our students, and all of amazing our instructors and guest artists.
In next few months, we'll be taking a "break" (preparing for next year’s program!) and launching our collaborative SIDEXSIDE project with EXILE books. Watch out for news about both, join our newsletter for updates, and stay slaying. Scroll through for highlights from our end-of-the-summer Open Mic!