An Epic (Poetry) Day of Writing at Acorn Woodland Elementary!

300 STUDENTS
24 VOLUNTEERS
11 SCHOOL-WIDE RELAYED EPIC POEMS
1 HOUR

Friday, May 19, 2017

It started as all epic poems do, en medias res (in the middle of things). Oakland Poet Laureate & Chapter 510 high-school intern Tova Ricardo took the stage at Acorn Elementary's all-school assembly and read a beautiful poem in front of a rapt (albeit wiggly) student body.

Our fearless ED Janet Heller followed her in a grand announcement: that the students had only one hour to produce 11 Epic Poems in a never-been-done-before all-school poetry relay race! The Prime Minister of the Bureau of Far Off Ideas had demanded this epic feat, and she knew that the Acorn students were up for the challenge. 

Students immediately rushed off to their respective classrooms where they were greeted by Epic Poetry Teaching Artists and Epic Poetry Scribes equipped with official Epic Poetry Paper and tubes for efficient poetry transportation. 

Once students learned all they needed to know about epic poetry, en medias res, and all the ground rules sent by the Prime Minister (No Boring Poems!), they were off.

Hands shot in the air, ideas flew faster than Lamborghinis. There were princesses named Barney Watson Guzman, shape shifting shoes, chickens, magic spiders, delirious schemes, and epic journeys of all kinds.

Every ten minutes, students had to tube up and bid farewell to a poem and welcome a new poem into the room to continue the previous classroom's story from character creation to setting descriptions to embarking on journeys to overcoming great obstacles (and scary villains) all the way to "The End." The poems themselves took a Homeric journey, from home classroom back to home classroom! 

To say that this day was epic would be an understatement. You can read all poems written on this very day here or by stopping by our writing center where we have them framed and illustrated. 

Poem design by Justin Carder & Christine Pepperdine. Photos by Sergio Flores.

Special thanks to our lead poet Tova Ricardo & Epic Poets, Illustrators & Scribes Breena Nunez, Elizabeth Gould, Josephine White, Hannah Rubin, Katie Shwarz, Renica Powers, Tammy Berdichevsky, Claire Strings, Ruby Hwang, Lisa Kim, Roni Canieso, Talia Frank, Allison Ho, Janet Heller, Janice Edwards, Maya Martin, Scott Raynor & Perla Yasmeen Meléndez.