Other Worlds: Afzal Ahmed Syed with Mahwash Shoaib

Born in India and a longtime resident of Pakistan, Afzal Ahmed Syed is an acclaimed master of classical and modern Urdu poetic forms. Syed reads from Rococo and Other Worlds: Selected Poems, his first English-language publication, and discusses Urdu poetry, Middle Eastern and South Asian history, and the politics of translation with poet and translator Mahwash Shoaib.

Sea Tale with Richard Lewis & the Touchstone Center Ensemble

Performed by the Touchstone Center Theatre Ensemble in Teardrop Park South, Poets House’s beautiful “backyard,” this mythic story by Richard
features a wise crab and reveals how the activity of playing first began. After the performance, children will play with words in the making of poems.

Fairly Varied Fairy Tales with Marie Ponsot

A translator from the French of many children’s books and a renowned poet, Marie Ponsot shares her favorite fairy tales. Among her translations are the classic The Golden Book of Fairy Tales and Love and Folly: Selected Fables and Tales of La Fontaine.

Poetry & Popcorn with James Stevenson

Illustrator for the New Yorker and creator of over a hundred children’s books, James Stevenson reads from Popcorn, Sweet Corn, Just Around the Corner and other volumes (all of which feature the word “corn” in their titles). Stevenson also demonstrates how he makes his drawings. Popcorn will be served!

Forever Friends with Carin Berger

Carin Berger shares the poetic story of a bluebird and a brown rabbit whose friendship survives migration and winter. A collage workshop celebrating the beginning of spring follows.

Carin Berger is the author and illustrator of many books for children, including The Little Yellow Leaf, a New York Times Best Illustrated Children’s Book.

Floating Valentines: A Screening of The Red Balloon

In celebration of Valentine’s Day, Poets House presents Albert Lamorisse’s timeless children’s film classic The Red Balloon. Afterward, children will make their own floating valentines

Poetic Forms with Star Black

In this course, students explore the following forms: sonnet, sestina, pantoum, villanelle, haiku, epistle, elegy, light verse, visual poem, exquisite corpse, concrete poem and “found” poem. Students will also create chapbooks of their work, using reproductions of their own artwork for the covers.

Star Black’s most recent collection of poems is Velleity’s Shade, and her handmade books were recently displayed in the exhibit “The Collaged Accordion” at the Center for Book Arts. She has taught at Stony Brook Southampton and the New School.

Language Innovation with Paul Barman

In this workshop, students write poems out of the overlappings of poetry and music, among other art forms, and look at the work of Ken Nordine, Woody Guthrie, Lewis Carroll, William Burroughs and others. Special attention is given to hip-hop and rhyming.

Paul Barman is a lyricist whose critically acclaimed albums include Thought Balloon Mushroom Cloud, which has been called “the Finnegans Wake of hip-hop.” He has taught at the Banks Street College of Education and lectured at Columbia and Brown Universities.

Poetry (&) Comics with Paolo Javier

Poets and artists have long turned to the modern cartoon strip as a source for innovation. In this workshop, students work collaboratively and create comics and poems based on examples from writers and artists associated with the New York School, the Four Horsemen and Surrealism.

Paolo Javier is the current Queens Poet Laureate and the author of the time at the end of this writing, among other poetry books. He has taught at the University of Miami and co-edits the press 2nd Ave Poetry.

Text, Image, Theme & Between with Jill Magi

Class participants work with forms (sentence, found text, the list), themes (place, history, letter writing) and the making of images that sit near the texts. Authors and artists to be discussed include Juliana Spahr & Candace Ah Nee, Susan Howe, Theresa Hak Kyung Cha, Cecilia Vicuña and Walid Raad/The Atlas Group. A digital camera (which can be a disposable model) is needed.

Jill Magi is the author of the text-image hybrid book Threads, and she runs Sona Books, a small chapbook press.


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