Friday, July 25, 2008

Poetry at the Boys & Girls Club

Though the deadline for our annual poetry contest was July 3, I've been working on it throughout the month:

1) collecting all the entries from the other Clubs around town,
2) getting the poems judged,
3) sorting and redistributing the entries back to the kids,
4) contacting the winners,
5) transcribing the winning poems into documents on my computer,
6) roughing out the chapbook,
7) taking photos of the winners, and
8) putting poems and photos together in the chapbook.

The book isn't finished yet; more photos are needed, and I have a section at the back of the book that needs filling. It will contain a few pages of quotes and photos regarding the nature and definition of beauty, this year's contest theme.

One boy--Isaiah--has entered the writing and photography contests in the past, put his heart and soul into the effort, but though he has received honorable mentions, he has never won.

The phone call:

Me -- "Hi! I'm calling from the Boys & Girls Club to let you know Isaiah won first place in the poetry contest."

Mom -- (gasp) "Oh, wow! That's great! He's right here; do you want to tell him yourself?"

Me -- "Absolutely."

Isaiah -- "Yeah?"

Me -- "Hey, this is (Keanan) from the Club."

Isaiah -- "Yeah?"

Me -- "Guess what?"

Isaiah -- (still suspicious and uncertain; he probably thinks he's in trouble) "I don't know. What?"

Me -- "You won first place in the poetry contest."

Isaiah -- (a gasp that mimics his mother's) "No way! No way!" (his voice a little distant as he yells back at his family) "No way! I won! I won the poetry contest! No way!"

Me -- "Yes way, dude."

Isaiah -- (choked up) "That's awesome."

Conversations like that make the effort worthwhile.

7 comments:

The Texican said...

Good for you. Those kids are lucky to have a dedicated professional to oversee their efforts. Tell Isaiah congratulations for me. (One poet to another) Pappy

KEANAN BRAND said...

I'll pass along your good wishes to Isaiah.

"Dedicated professional"--that's a new one! (laughing)

A person might be forgiven for thinking I'm schizophrenic, trying to find another job and yet still finding this one rewarding. Sometimes, I don't know my own mind.

willow said...

Awww. That's fun! It does make it worthwhile, doesn't it?

The Texican said...

Didn't I read some Haiku? My reader had a series of three Haiku and I thought they were yours. When I came to your blog I couldn't find them. They were good by the way. Pappy

KEANAN BRAND said...

Willow - Yep, it does.

I wish I could spend my time doing cool stuff like that, and skip all the "bad cop" stuff I have to do, too. Last week, a kid walked past in a long line of other kids on their way to lunch, and he asked, "Are you the principal?" Ay-yi-yi.

Tex - Yeah, I had some haiku posted, but I removed that post. I want to tweak a couple more poems, and maybe post them. (And thanks!)

Jadesmith said...

Hey, just read the newest in SP! Very Good! And congrats to Isaiah!I like how you have your episodes set up as a list--what template are you using?

KEANAN BRAND said...

Jade, the widget I'm using for the episode list is a link list. I go to the specific post I want (each has its own address), copy the address, paste it into the appropriate box on the list, and label the link (Episode 1, 2, 3, etcetera).