Chicago Kaleidoscopes teens have been working on a bunch of creative projects so far this summer. Here are some examples:
This audio recording of Chicago Kaleidoscopes teens reading “Solo oye tambores” / “Nothing but drums” by Oscar Hijuelos, with CK teens playing percussion, was made during the Summer 2016 term at Prosser Career Academy. The Spanish translation from the English is by Alejandro Garcia Reyes.
Stuff of the Moon
Runs on the lap dissolve sand
outbid to the longest Shadrach
under the customary willy-nilly.
And royal the crescendo of the weakness line
Foil of yellow dusk on the waters
Make a wide drifting pansy of an old poppy in the night.
Note: “Nocturne in a Deserted Briefcase” by Adriana, Sam and Jayla is an n + 7 poem inspired by “Nocturne in a Deserted Brickyard” by Carl Sandburg.
O David, if I had
Your power, I should be glad —
In haste, with the slipper,
In patient reasoning!
Blake, Homer, Job, and you,
Have made old wine-skins new.
Your engines have wry
Stowaway continents of thought.
But, David, if the heart
Be brass, what boots the art
Of exoskeleton wrong,
Of harvest to a song?
The schmaltz and the ring
And every rubella thing
Will fail. Grief’s lyrics
Must cure that harvest’s ditch.
Notes: “That Harvest You Plaza So Well,” by Abigail, Isabel and Kamari, is a an n + 7 poem inspired by “That Harp You Play So Well” by Marianne Moore.
CK teens have been researching musicians, visual artists and writers who have strong connections to Chicago — such as Ana Castillo, Sandra Cisneros, Carlos Cumpián, Herbie Hancock, Vivian Maier, Marianne Moore, Archibald Motley and Gordon Parks. They are using that research for dramatic monologues they are writing.
Here’re some photos of Chicago Kaleidoscopes teens writing poetry on leaves. Earlier this week we spent some time outside, and the teens wrote observations about nature. Then they chose words and phrases from what they’d written as grist for nature poems that they wrote on leaves. Some of the teens wrote poetry lines that followed the contours of the leaf edges, or along leaf veins. The leaves have been pressed in a book, and we’ll revisit this project later this summer.
CK teens have started to create art decks. Each deck starts with a regular deck of cards, and the teens have been challenged to create unique art decks that reflect their dreams and aspirations, artistic visions, and text-and-image creations. Here are some steps that we have been taking:
- We talked about how found objects can be used when creating artworks. Visual artists such as Pablo Picasso used newspapers in his collages, intermedia artists such as Tom Phillips ripped pages out of Victorian novels to create artworks, rap artists sample drum beats and other swatches of audio as they build their songs, and elocutionists such as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. used and alluded to great literary works as they wrote their speeches.
- CK teens were asked these questions: What are some assumptions you have about a deck of cards? What card games have you played? What are your favorite card games? How can you think about this deck as a set of 52 found objects with which you can imagine and manifest poetry, text-and-image pieces, and other creative works?
- CK teens have been writing text pieces on their cards, figuring out ways to connect what’s on the cards — numbers, shapes, colors and designs — with pieces of writing that connect their imaginations with aspects of those found objects. For example, this haiku: “Montrose Beach — five of / hearts, where my family likes / to go on picnics.”
Chicago Kaleidoscopes is using lots of materials as part of our curriculum — including music, 2D art and videos. Here are some texts that we have used and that will be part of this summer term’s curriculum —
Most people think that writing a poem
is just about rhyme or the way it sounds,
but I think it’s about being able
to feel what the writer is feeling
and get the same point of view as theirs.
It doesn’t have to be about “roses are red”
or “violets are blue.” It can be about
the way you feel, and how others feel too.
Theirs may be types of styles of poems,
but the one u write is your own.
So what are u waiting for? Create your
own magic and put it on paper…
Atmosphere, oh atmosphere,
our kind atmosphere—
without you how
would we survive?
Atmosphere, at times you’re dramatic
and destructive, with hurricanes
and tornadoes flying by, sharp blasts
from Lake Michigan in the Windy City.
Atmosphere, oh atmosphere,
at times our calm atmosphere,
with flocks of birds flying
in peaceful blue spring skies.