Exquisite Corpse (History from Wikipedia)

I love beginning my kids’ classes giggling over Exquisite Corpse. No actual corpses involved:

“The technique was invented by surrealists and is similar to an old parlour game called Consequences in which players write in turn on a sheet of paper, fold it to conceal part of the writing, and then pass it to the next player for a further contribution. Surrealism principal founder André Breton reported that it started in fun, but became playful and eventually enriching. Breton said the diversion started about 1925, but Pierre Reverdy wrote that it started much earlier, at least as early as 1918.[1][2]

The name is derived from a phrase that resulted when Surrealists first played the game, “Le cadavre exquis boira le vin nouveau.” (“The exquisite corpse shall drink the new wine.”)[3][4] André Breton writes that the game developed at the residence of friends in an old house at 54 rue du Château (no longer existing). In the beginning were Yves TanguyMarcel DuchampJacques PrévertBenjamin PéretPierre Reverdy, and André Breton. Other participants probably included Max MoriseJoan MiróMan RaySimone CollinetTristan TzaraGeorges HugnetRené Char, and Paul and Nusch Éluard.[1][5]

Henry Miller often partook of the game to pass time in French cafés during the 1930s.”

Next Stop, Summer

Another one of my classes ended for the summer. The kids read their favorite pieces to a full room of excited parents. Here’s a sample of a fun, last day collage one of the kids made and shared from a class prompt, “What I hate about being a kid is…” We often forget that being a kid can be hard work. 

Poets As Activists

One of my residencies wrapped up (sadly!) last week. Sometimes it’s hard to tell what the kids are absorbing.

They are listening to every word. I hear about the election in every class I teach. The President’s name comes up a lot. So, I ended the class with the idea of poets as activists. Your voice and words matter, kids.