FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Michelle Jeffers, San Francisco Public Library, 415-557-4282, firstname.lastname@example.org
Kate Patterson, San Francisco Arts Commission, 415-252-4638, email@example.com
San Francisco Public Library & WritersCorps
Present an Installation of Poetry on the Main Library Stairs
& Literary Carnival for Teens
SAN FRANCISCO, April 18, 2013 ― The San Francisco Public Library and WritersCorps, the award-winning youth writing program, announce Step to Poetry, a colorful literary art installation on the Main Library stairs written by WritersCorps youth. The youth, who range in age from 12 to 19, attend an afterschool workshop run by WritersCorps at the Main Library.
The installation will be on view from May 10 through June 10, and consists of nine brief poems about popular culture. Postcards with the poems will also be available for free. A launch event will take place on Friday, May 17 at 6 pm, featuring a stair crawl from the first to fifth floors with WritersCorps youth performing their poems along the way. Space is limited and an RSVP to the event is required as the event takes place after library hours.
WritersCorps teaching artist Minna Dubin says she asked the students to write on popular culture because it was fun. She was also interested in dispelling the notions of poetry being “high brow” and inaccessible and popular culture as being “low brow.”
“Because the Library is such a special place in San Francisco, where people of all different walks of life are in the same space, it seemed appropriate for such a similar merging of art, poetry, and popular culture,” Dubin says. “Popular culture icons are also accessible to all kinds of people. By definition, popular culture permeates, so matter what class, race, language, or gender you identify with, you’ve probably heard of Google, the Kardashians, and Spongebob.”
“Just because popular culture is seen as frivolous and “low brow” doesn’t mean that teens don’t have interesting perspective and are able to write social critique in a thoughtful, fresh, and often hilarious way,” she said.
On May 21, WritersCorps will return to the Main Library for its annual year-end celebration, WordStorm. This literary carnival takes place after school from 3:30 to 6 pm and features hands-on activities, and an open mic where youth will read from newly-released publications. During the school year, WritersCorps worked at 14 sites throughout San Francisco, and published 8 books, a postcard series, and the Step to Poetry installation.
Altogether, the publications feature 453 San Francisco youth who participated in the 2012-13 program. WritersCorps serves approximately 900 youth each year. The writers, who range in age from 10 to 22, give readers a glimpse into the world of young people today. Through poetry, prose and illustration, they explore the complexities of childhood and adolescence, and express their feelings about the issues that matter most to them: family, identity, love, loss, violence and war, their local and international communities.
Poetry Stair Crawl
Friday, May 17, 6 pm
San Francisco Main Public Library
100 Larkin Street
Free, RSVP Required
Join the San Francisco Public Library and WritersCorps for an exclusive after-hours launch event for Step to Poetry, a colorful literary art installation on the library stairs written by WritersCorps youth. This event will feature a stair crawl from the first to fifth floors with WritersCorps youth performing their poems about popular culture along the way. Space for this event is limited and an RSVP is required. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 415-252-2546.
Tuesday, May 21, 3:30-6 pm
San Francisco Main Public Library, Latino Hispanic Room (lower level)
100 Larkin Street
WritersCorps presents a literary carnival for tweens and teens, with hands-on activities, prizes, and an open mic. Students who have been participating in WritersCorps throughout the year will read their work from newly published books.
WritersCorps, a joint project of the San Francisco Arts Commission and San Francisco Public Library, places professional writers in community settings to teach creative writing to youth. Since its inception in 1994, the program has helped nearly 18,000 young people improve their literacy and increase their desire to learn. WritersCorps is a recipient of a 2010 National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award from First Lady Michelle Obama and the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities. The program also publishes award-winning publications and produces local and national events featuring young people.