On March 7, 2013, WritersCorps and the Contemporary Jewish Museum joined forces for the third year to present WritersCorps Live at the CJM, featuring award-winning author Tamim Ansary, along with WritersCorps teaching artist Minna Dubin, and 8 students from 8 different WritersCorps sites in San Francisco.
Before the reading began, about 80 WritersCorps students were treated to a private tour of Kehinde Wiley’s exhibit “World Stage: Israel,” by interns from CJM’s Teen Art Connect program. Our students thoroughly enjoyed the thought-provoking art and group discussion.
After the tour, students enjoyed some pizza while Tamim Ansary fielded their questions about being a professional writer, and signed their copies of “West of Kabul, East of New York.” Thank you to Picador for their generous donation of copies of the book for our students!
Savannah from Downtown High School started the reading off with a poem called “How to Dance with Wolves.” She was followed by DeAsia from the WritersCorps Apprentices program, who read a poem that she shared on KALW’s Crosscurrents a few days earlier (check it out here).
Savannah and DeAsia were followed by Maribella from Aptos Middle School, and Laura from Sanchez Elementary. WritersCorps teaching artist Minna Dubin also shared her writing.
Karla, from Hilltop High School, shared a brave and moving piece about motherhood, and Kevin and Redemption represented Mission High School. Monica, a student in the fall semester of our collaboration with Oasis for Girls, also shared her work. Two of our students at the Woodside Learning Center inside the Juvenile Justice Center were represented by two short films of their poems which were screened.
Finally, our featured reader, the award-winning writer Tamim Ansary, treated us to an excerpt from “West of Kabul, East of New York,” his memoir about his family’s immigration from Afghanistan to San Francisco.
Thank you to everyone who attended the event to support the work of our students and teaching artists! It was a packed house and we were thrilled to see all of you. Check out more photos from the event here on Flickr. Thank you to photographer Cole Anetsberger!
And don’t forget to mark your calendars for our next event, Poetry Projection Project — a short film fest based on youth writing — on Saturday, April 13, 2 pm, at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. More info on that here.