Missoula Writing Collaborative uses art museum to inspire young poets

Missoula Writing Collaborative uses art museum to inspire young poets

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Copy Playback Speed 2 1.75 1.50 1.25 Normal 0.50 Video Quality Play/Pause >> Mute/Unmute 0:00 / 0:00 Settings Closed Captions Picture in Picture Cast Fullscreen Play/Pause >> Mute/Unmute 0:00 / 0:00 Settings Closed Captions Cast Fullscreen MISSOULA – is a subject that can be hit or miss for kids — some love it, some hate it. The Missoula Writing Collaborative works to increase the former. The group hosts a variety of summer camps for kids as young as third grade. During the third week in July, high school students spent time workshopping their writing with instructors who are passionate the subject. The Rattlesnake Writing Workshop involved kids in grades nine through 12. Instructors Dana Fitz Gale and Sam Dunnington ran the kids through various writing exercises for three hours a day. “Whatever the kids are interested in, really, we try to offer,” Dunnington says. The kids wandered through the Missoula Art Museum on Wednesday, July 19, 2023, to find poetic inspiration from the pieces. It is a technique that Dunnington says dates back to the Iliad. “Ekphrastic writing is a really fun writing process with a really deep history. It's basically looking at visual art and using that,” he says. “And so it's a fun thing to sort of connect the kids to a deep writing tradition and also I think is a really useful generative exercise.” Sam Dunnington started volunteering at the Missoula Writing Collaborative as a way to get teaching experience. The group gathers on the University of Montana campus, but the instructors try to get them out writing in new areas every day. “We like to go to a variety of different settings just to kind of emphasize that writing isn't just some academic thing that happens in the classroom, that it can be anywhere in the world,” Fitz Gale says. For the teenagers at the Rattlesnake Writing Workshop, writing already comes naturally, but having a dedicated time to hone their skills is […]

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