I’ve always been curious about Literary Arts’ Writers in the Schools (WITS) program. The concept sounded amazing: Professional writers from all fields (poetry, fiction, essays, graphic novels, plays) teach students in Portland’s public high schools for one semester working with teachers to create lessons that touch upon other subjects. The students then get published in anthologies- in print form or as digital chapbooks. They also get to read their works during community readings.
It must be incredible to have mentors who’ve been in your shoes and can help you get to where you want to be. And to be part of something tangible, published, and read by others, must be empowering and encouraging!
It was during the release of their latest anthology “There is a Fire/Que hay No Fuego” that I got to see what WITS was all about. Students, teachers, writers, and Literary Arts staff were present to read selections. I was inspired by how brave the teenagers were to speak in front of a crowd and bare their soul. It seems the best writing are the ones that come from the heart, finding truths in life and ourselves that somehow resonates with others.
The unique writing workshops are just one small aspect of what WITS does so, if you’re interested, check out the site!