The folks from Austin's very own Typewriter Rodeo inspired our 4th and 5th grade students to let their imaginations wrangle up ideas straight from their heads and lay them down to paper without a mere hesitation. A lesson in the process of letting a mistake take you to the edge of your creative notions when composing poetry was a wonderful part of today's workshop with Jodi Egerton and David Fruchter, impromptu poet extraordinaires. These talented folks, who compose spontaneous poetry on vintage typewriters, are regulars on KUT's Texas Standard and have been featured in Edible Austin, The Austin Chronicle and even on radio stations as far as Boston!
Jodi and David talked about the process of creating spontaneous poetry and how to ask questions of their "customers" in order to compose a personalized poem that feeds the heart. A poem can be a wonderful gift of kindness. Students also learned a lot about the mechanics of old-fashioned typewriters. As our 4th and 5th graders oohed and aahed over machines that don't use electricity or batteries, they were invited to submit their own topics for a custom poem typed up by our presenters. From topics like a Memory Foam Mattress Staircase anda Sloth to a poem about Magic, our students guffawed, snorted, and smiled whole-heartedly as they listened to David and Jodi present tales about their poetic adventures and revealed custom poems for our students.
Towards the end of each workshop, students wrote poems for their partners and some shared their personalized poems with the crowd. Many students went back to their classes to write more poetry! It was delightful to see what amazingly creative and compassionate poets we had in the crowd! Thank you Jodi and David for awakening the inner poets of our students and encouraging them to write from their hearts, spreading kindness one rhyme at a time.