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CREATIVITY FOR CHANGE ~ CalPoets’ 2019 Statewide Symposium with Juan Felipe Herrera

August 2, 2019 - August 4, 2019


For 55 years, California Poets in the Schools has brought the powerful magic of poetry creation and performance to over one million students.  Our work is more important than ever!  Studies show that student involvement in the arts is linked to higher academic performance, increased standardized test scores, greater involvement in community service and lower dropout rates.  Creativity is the #1 desired skill in today’s job market.  Poetry instruction builds empathy and a sense of belonging in the classroom setting.  Poetry and the arts can be a powerful, healing tool for schools and communities recovering from natural disasters and other traumas such as gun violence.

This weekend conference is open to the public and geared towards literary teaching artists (for all audiences), classroom educators, poets, MFA candidates and more.  Content will be engaging for those brand new to teaching the literary arts and to the “old hats” among us.

At this Symposium, workshops will be geared towards the theme of Creativity for Change.  How can poetry in the classroom be a transformational tool for positive change?  How can our lesson plans respond swiftly with resilience and flexibility to the most pressing issues of our time?  How do we need to change and grow ourselves in order to best serve our communities? We will learn from experts in our midst and pool our best practices for a weekend of learning, networking, community-building, poetry readings and some good old-fashioned fun.

Juan Felipe Herrera will join us as our creative writing workshop leader, keynote reader and presenter.  In 2015 Juan Felipe Herrera was appointed the 21st United States Poet Laureate, the first Mexican American to hold the position. Herrera grew up in California as the son to migrant farmers, which he has commented strongly shaped much of his work. A Washington Post article tells the story that “As a child, Herrera learned to love poetry by singing about the Mexican Revolution with his mother, a migrant farmworker in California. Inspired by her spirit, he has spent his life crossing borders, erasing boundaries and expanding the American chorus.”


California Poets in the Schools
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Saint Francis Retreat Center
49 Mission Vineyard Rd
San Juan Bautista, --Select One-- 95045
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