Tag Archives: writing

Poets’ Corner at UPE

A few weeks ago, the wonderful UPE English professor Zaira Cavalcanti asked me to bring some short poems to her evening class on Reading and Composition. Inspired, I spent a few hours searching through some of my favorite poems, like “This Is Just To Say” by William Carlos Williams.

Students editing their poems in class.

I had a vague idea that I wanted this project to culminate in student-produced poetry, but at that point I had no conception of how brilliant the results would be. After reading and analyzing the poems I brought to class, I explained to the students a few different possible forms for their own poems: haiku, acrostic, found poem, etc. I told them that if they wanted to use their own form, they should feel free—having no major expectations for this option.

Alessandro posted the first poem on the poster I made for class.

The day that the students read their poems sticks out in my mind as one of the most inspiring I have yet experienced here. Looking back, I realize that I was silly to forget how powerful a tool poetry is for students who are learning to express themselves in a language. The malleability of a poem is such that students can lose their preoccupations about grammar and correct structure: the most important thing is simply to communicate a message in whatever way works. I was blown away by the depth and creativity of the poems that the students created; even those who struggle with English in other forms (like speaking) came to class with beautifully and creatively written pieces.

Below are two examples. I hope to use the 20 poems that the students created in a publication of English writing by students from the whole department, to be finished before the end of the year.

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English Language Programming at UPE – Campus Petrolina

For the last few weeks, I’ve started my work at UPE by assisting the English professors in their classrooms and getting to know the students here. Now I’m thrilled to announce that I’ll be launching some regular events and workshops for students, to be scheduled outside of class time.

American Club will happen every Wednesday at 6:00 pm. This is a fun and informal way to practice English and learn about American culture, from baseball and chocolate chip cookies to slang and popular party games.

Conversation Sections will happen two or three times a month, at 6:00 pm on different days of the week (check the calendar every month). Classes will be limited to the first 20 students who arrive, and will focus on speaking skills for all levels.

The Writing Center will also be open two or three times a month at 6:00 pm (check the calendar). Students can bring their writing to be reviewed by me and their peers.

The Writing Center will also help to serve another purpose: to inspire students to create productions in English for a student literature review. The publication will include poetry, short stories, articles, comics, drawings, and any other related material produced in English or about English-language culture.

Unless otherwise noted, all events will happen in the UPE English classroom next to the Oficina Literária, facing the courtyard.

Check the calendar for specific dates! (Programming begins in April.)

Classes are primarily for English students at UPE, but if you are from another institution and are interested in these opportunities, please get in touch with me and we’ll figure out a solution!

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