TUCKAHOE, N.Y. – More than 300 Tuckahoe Middle School students learned the art of musical poetics at a series of workshops on Tuesday led by acclaimed poet Dave Johnson.
The students were introduced to the buried linguistic and musical structures of poetry and the way those structures create voice and meaning in a poem. Johnson guided the students in discussions about the way music can create a relationship between form and content in poetry.
Class time was spent poring over the works of established poets such as Pablo Neruda, Federico Garcia Lorca and Margaret Atwood, evaluating narrative, lyrical, concrete and calligram styles in their work. Students also practiced listening to the voices of poets reading their own work, as well as critiquing their peers’ work.
Johnson is the author of the play Baptized to the Bone and Marble Shoot, a book of poems. He also edited of Movin’: Teen Poets Take Voice, an anthology of poetry. His play enjoyed a sold out run at the New Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco and was honored as Play of the Year by the Dallas-Fort Worth Critics Forum in 2004.
The author is a lecturer at Yale University and an instructor at The Cooper Union School of Art. He has received two prizes for his poetry from the Academy of American Poets.