Erika Luckert & Matthew Thompson
Writers-in-Residence, February 2019
We began this year’s program with a poem by Brooklyn-born poet Martin Espada called “The Republic of Poetry,” where Espada imagines a world in which poetry is everywhere. The title for this year’s anthology was inspired by Espada’s poem, and by the enormous wealth of poetry and poets in Brooklyn—among them, these creative young voices at IS 392.
Throughout our weeks together, we took inspiration from the city, and in particular, from Brooklyn and its literary tradition. In one class, students wrote poems outside on the school’s sidewalks, which you’ll see captured in photos throughout these pages. We read and listened to a poem by Joshua Bennett called “16 Bars for Kendrick Lamar,” then wrote our own poems in praise or contemplation of a person, place, or thing. You’ll find many of those poems as you read this anthology. Students also explored the visual side of poetry by creating maps that reveal their own perspectives, experiences, and interactions with Brooklyn. We read a poem by Jamila Woods called “Daddy Dozens,” which students discovered could be both a roast and an ode all at once—many students then created erasures of the poem, remixing their own compositions from its words.
As you read this anthology, you’ll discover the true diversity and energy of this borough of poetry, and we hope you’ll start to think of Brooklyn in a myriad of new and exciting ways.
We’d like to thank the many teachers and staff members at IS 392 for their collaboration and support throughout this residency: Principal Joseph, Assistant Principal Cooper, Ms. Ordde, Ms. Rance-Fisher, Ms. Beckles, Ms. Mark, and Ms. McKenzie. A huge thank you, always, to the staff at the Teachers & Writers Collaborative, Jordan Dann and Amy Swauger. And above all, thank you to all the student writers, all the student voices, at IS 392. You are what makes this borough such a vibrant, poetic place to be!
Things that I love
By Claudia Q. (6th grade)
1. Bubble tea my tea
2. Burger King my favorite fast food
3. My friends they are better than any boyfriends.
4. My family makes me live happily
5. Christmas not just a holiday but a special day
6. Brooklyn a place I live
7. School is a rule to go too
8. Me is me
In The Borough
By Chloe C. (6th grade)
In the borough of poetry, a train of artist and poets go to their own world
In the borough of poetry, poets will teach these artist the true meaning of poetry
In the borough of poetry, you create your own poem & that is your ticket back home.
Now once you home there are more poems to be made.
And you will think, this is my home.
Where my peace and love is.
This is where I live.