This is an open letter to thank Hope Anita Smith, poet, extraordinary teacher, and author of The Way a Door Closes, Keeping the Night Watch, and the 2010 poetry collection, Mother P0ems, for her amazing, awesome, and artistic ways in leading six poetry workshops for all our 7th and 8th grade students at The Dalton School, NYC.
We were all under your spell and now are all in awe of you! You brought such energy, generosity, and expertise with you into our classroom and every student got a chance to write a poem under your guidance and inspiration. Some of the poems that were shared brought chills down my and the teachers’ spines: they were good and the students really put their mind and soul into them.
It is not common when we have an author who prepares three different presentations when the audience is on the same level. But you did. The students loved working on the Cool Poem, they definitely struggled a bit with Seven Ways of Looking At ________, and were completely engrossed in “reading” the names of the paint color chips that you brought and applying those to their own Paint Me Like I Am poems.
You are going back to LA today and I wish you the best and I want you to come back to us to work with more students and I want many many more other young people to be inspired by you to explore the wonders of words, to stretch their minds and to discover their hidden potentials as writers and poets. (I know you have many different workshops for different age groups.)
Hope, take care and let our paths cross again soon!