As a teaching artist, I help children, teens and adults find their voices in poetry and creative non-fiction. I encourage them to seek rich material in their own lives and put it on the page with muscle and grace. Together, we play with rhythm and sound, metaphor and simile, images that startle all our senses. We drum and draw and listen to music; we find inspiration in a wide range of literature, including works by William Carlos Williams, Lucille Clifton, Gary Soto and Naomi Shihab Nye.
In my classes—whether in public or private schools, after-school programs, juvenile detention facilities or senior centers—every voice matters; every child or adult can find strength in self-expression. Our work is both rigorous and playful. We learn to believe in the potential of each poem or story, and we respond to our own and others’ work in an effort to make the meaning shine.
Since 1992, I have worked with the New Jersey Writers Project and the Arts in Education program of the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. I teach adults each summer at New Jersey’s Artist-Teacher Institute, a two-week arts immersion program for artists and teachers of all grades and subject areas. I also teach an adult workshop in creative non-fiction/memoir at the Winter Poetry & Prose Getaway , held each January in Cape May, New Jersey.
A poem can’t pull you from the undertow. A story is no cure for cancer. But words can nourish and sustain; they link the living to the dead, and to each other. In my classes—whether for an hour or a week—I aim to create a community of writers who take creative risks, treasure one another’s differences and embrace the power of words.
Copyright 2006 by Anndee Hochman - All rights reserved.
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