HoCoPoLitSo

Home » Education » Students’ Moments of ‘Quiet Potential’ with Writer-in-Residence

Students’ Moments of ‘Quiet Potential’ with Writer-in-Residence

Join our email list.

To receive notifications about upcoming HoCoPoLitSo events via email, simply click
Subscribe.

Upcoming HoCoPoLitSo Events

  • Ordinary Wonder: Three Poets On Writing and Reality Michael Collier, Elizabeth Spires, and David Yezzi October 26, 2018 at 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm Horowitz Visual and Performing Arts Building, 5020, Campus Dr, Columbia, MD 21044, USA Michael Collier, Elizabeth Spires, and David Yezzi open HoCoPoLitSo’s 45th Season with “Ordinary Wonder: Three Poets on Writing and Reality”. The season’s 2018 Lucille Clifton Reading Series event features these three Maryland poets, each with new, acclaimed collections. Collier, Spires and Yezzi will read and discuss their work beginning at 7:30 p.m. in the Monteabaro…
  • HoCoPoLitSo Board Meeting November 10, 2018 at 10:00 am – 12:00 pm Howard Community College, Columbia, MD 21044, USA Monthly meeting of the HoCoPoLitSo board.
  • HoCoPoLitSo Board Meeting December 8, 2018 at 10:00 am – 12:00 pm Howard Community College, Columbia, MD 21044, USA Monthly meeting of the HoCoPoLitSo Board.

Upcoming Regional Literary Events

  • Dodge Poetry Festival October 18, 2018 – October 21, 2018 New Jersey Performing Arts Center, Newark, NJ 07102, USA The nation's premier poetry festival happens every other year in Newark, New Jersey. This is one of those years. Guess where we'll be. Info at http://www.dodgepoetry.org/

Sometimes the hands rise slowly.  Sometimes they shoot up quickly.

Other times, hands rise up cautiously as the eyes dart around the room.  I love this moment for its honesty, its quiet potential, and the way that question maps out the terrain I have to travel to at the least show each and every school in Howard County that poetry is present, possible and matters. As writer-in-residence for HoCoPoLitSo, I travel to the county high schools to read and talk poetry.

Poet Derrick Weston Brown speaks with students at Atholton High School. (Photo by Paige Feilhauer)

Poet Derrick Weston Brown speaks with students at Atholton High School. (Photo by Paige Feilhauer)

During the reading, I share stories behind the inspiration and origin of some of the poems and then I ask the students if they have any questions about certain poems. Many even request me to read certain poems and then give their own interpretations on them.  We talk about other things as well. Ipod playlists. If Twitter is an appropriate space for poetry. Role-playing games. Favorite books. Dating. Haiku. Race. Gender. The list goes on.

If I have any sort of a complaint, I wish that perhaps my visits could extend past the usual fifty-minute class time. Usually the bell rings and the students make their way to lunch or to another class and I find myself a little melancholy that the connection we’ve built in just a short time is broken. But so much has happened within those small bubbles of time. I’ve witnessed brave students share their own poems when I’ve asked if there are any other poets in the room.

I’ve watched them deliver heartbreakingly honest and earnest poems, shaking paper and all, with the kind of sophistication and insight I truly wished I possessed at their age. I’ve stayed after my allotted time with passionate teachers and their poetry-hungry students who fire questions like pistons at me about form, meter, and content.

I enjoy this job most of all because I realize that Howard County is not as mysterious as I thought, because poetry dwells there, and anywhere poetry lives is home.

Derrick Weston Brown
HoCoPoLitSo writer-in-residence

To support HoCoPoLitSo’s Writer-In-Residence program in Howard County high schools, consider making a donation.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: