On January 29, 2022, the youth organization Connecting with Humanity held its quarterly community forum, which was part of a series of virtual events that span panels with professionals, creative experiences, and community service opportunities. The group hopes these events unite young people across cities and timezones with each other and their allies, as they navigate new spaces and explore new topics. The workshop was prefaced by two guests sharing poetry, Kim Redigan and Ahmed Dader. Kim, a member of the Meta Peace Team and community activist, shared her piece, “The Only Art I Know,” which highlighted water justice and human rights issues across the globe. Ahmed, a contributor at We Are Not Numbers calling in from Palestine read a personal piece, “2008,” recalling his memories of war in Gaza as a child. Following an introduction from CWH co-leaders Spandana Bondalapati and Eshe Lovely and guest speakers, the workshop was commenced by Connecting with Humanity member Noor Amanullah. The workshop reflected a structure inspired by poet Nada Faris, and is easy to follow at home. To gather inspiration and content for poems, participants were led through these steps:
Set a time for five minutes and compose an “image list.”
do your best to list up to 50 objects that are important to you
a physical object is anything tangible! something you can see/touch
tip! think of objects you can't live without, objects that have been center in an important moment in your life, or even anything you see around you that you find significant
Set a timer for five minutes and compose a “memory list.”
do your best to list up to 20 memories associated with objects on your image list
try to think of a specific moment: a certain event, conversation, interaction, etc.
Choose one memory from the list to continue with.
Set a timer for five minutes and write a list of sentences and phrases about the memory for each of the five senses.
start a list of sensory details associated with the memory your chose
write one detailed sentence about the memory for each of the five senses
Set a time for ten minutes and write a poem.
compose and refine a poem using your lists
tip! use your 5 senses sentences to create a five line stanza about one moment
or! write a few short stanzas about different memories that relate to each other. did they happen at the same place? with the same people?
Come back to your poem to edit and refine.
Feel free to get creative with the process and do what feels right for you. And, as always, Connecting with Humanity would be grateful to view your work! Submit your poem via Emailjust to share with our team, or specify that we can share it. We would love to feature your poem on our website and social media.
You can view the recording of the event here. Watch to hear guests and participants share poetry and follow along in writing your own.
Our next community forum will be a conversation about our ongoing social media campaign, Global Oppression of Indigenous Peoples: Strangers in Their Own Lands. The event, “Commonalities and Calls to Action,” will be held virtually on April 10 from 3 p.m. - 4 p.m. EST. Register here.