Woodland Pattern's Poetry Camp is a FREE five-day inter-arts camp serving youth entering grades 6-12. Each day of the one-week session includes breakfast, two hours of focused writing, workshop with guest artist, lunch, and a field trip.
Encouraged to think critically, students respectfully engage with one another's ideas by creating collaborative poems and critiquing each other’s writing. Writing teachers, who are also working artists, present poetry from a wide range of literary traditions and cultural and artistic backgrounds by facilitating discussion to identify techniques, aesthetic choices, and structural components, thus employing active learning techniques. Instructors focus on each student's work with attention to language skills and artistic intent. As students learn clear criteria for evaluating writing, they strengthen communication skills and are inspired to work with language.
Guest artist workshops activate connections between writing and other arts. For example, in a drum circle, students learn how rhythms work together, how words carry rhythm and how rhythm affects writing. Each day also includes a visit to a community organization, such as Milwaukee Art Museum or Lynden Sculpture Garden. Often, these field trips include hands-on learning experiences, such as screen-printing their poetry on t-shirts at Split Fountain Press. Notebooks in hand, students investigate the environment, write, and share their writing.
On the last day of camp, families and friends come to Woodland Pattern to hear the youth read their writing. Students challenge their verbal skills, using their newly acquired performance tools to build self-confidence. Students receive a group anthology, an audio recording of their writing, and books from the Woodland Pattern bookstore to build their home libraries so they can continue building creativity and language skills year-round.