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Poet Verandah Porche teaches poetry workshop in Wilmington, Vermont

February 7, 2012

Verandah Porche looks up before answering student questions during a recent writing workshop.

Recently, Vermont poet Verandah Porche spent three days as a writer in residence in Wilmington, Vermont. CLiF’s Writer in Residence workshops place a local author in an elementary school to give inspiring, dynamic writing workshops to children. The Writer-in-Residence workshops give children a fresh perspective on the process and pleasure of writing. Schools that receive this grant select up to 100 students who will participate in the program, allowing the presenter time to visit different classes and work with students individually throughout each day.

Here are some of Verandah’s thoughts on her writing workshop with the children of Wilmington:

My CLiF poetry residency at Deerfield Valley Elementary School has been a wonderful
gift to the children of Wilmington, Vermont. After Tropical Storm Irene swept through,
wiping out much of the downtown, students took an active role in the recovery.
Driving through town five months later, the resurrection is still in progress.

At the elementary school, Kindergarteners constructed a group poem about the
a medieval castle, echoing the rhythm of “The House that Jack Built.” They clarify
the difference between the bailey and the keep, which I had forgotten.

Second and third graders discovered the secret of writing a reverso poem based on
this year’s Red Clover book, Mirror, Mirror. Older students wrote odes to the gray wolves,
the anaconda and a menagerie of other wild and domestic creatures.

Verandah also sent two poems from her workshop with Mrs. Swanson’s class at Deerfield Elementary School:

How to be a Snowman

Fall out of the clouds.
Get rolled into big snowballs.
Be stacked up. Be still.
Put on an orange carrot nose.
Put on a black top hat.
Put on a berry smile.
Put on two coal eyes.
Put on a blue woolen scarf.
Put on stick arms.
Put on green mittens.
Put on purple buttons.

Hope it stays cold.

Winter Sounds

The br-r-r-r of the snow blower
clearing the driveway.
The scrunch of my excavator
slipping backwards.
The swish of my skis
turning down the hill.
The shhh of ice skates
sliding on a rink.
The pussh of snowballs
hitting the house.
The c-c-c-crunch
of my boots
as I step in the snow.
The crackle of the wood
as it burns in the stove.
And the gulp of my cocoa
moving down my throat.

It has to be especially tough to be a snowman with this year’s Vermont winter weather! Check back soon to read more about CLiF’s Writer-in-Residence workshops!

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