Solid Ground

Overview

Upheaval, violence, chasmand split. Such words describe San Francisco's Great Earthquake of 1906, and other temblors on the San Andreas Fault where the Pacific and North American Plates slide and grind. Stress, displacement, turbulence, rupture: these words also describe the lives of many contemporary youth who live along the metaphoric fault lines of immigration, economic inequity, turf wars, broken families and broken hearts.

In commemoration of the 1906 earthquake, this ...

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Overview

Upheaval, violence, chasmand split. Such words describe San Francisco's Great Earthquake of 1906, and other temblors on the San Andreas Fault where the Pacific and North American Plates slide and grind. Stress, displacement, turbulence, rupture: these words also describe the lives of many contemporary youth who live along the metaphoric fault lines of immigration, economic inequity, turf wars, broken families and broken hearts.

In commemoration of the 1906 earthquake, this volume gathers 150 poems written by WritersCorps youth over the past twelve years. These young writers have much to say about their individual experience, and about the world we share. They describe the stresses that impact their lives, and the tension that results. They express, as well, the strength and compassion born from their efforts to stay steady as the ground beneath them shakes.

Since 1994, WritersCorps teachers have met with thousands of youth in public schools, detention centers, halfway houses, after-school programs, and many other community settings. Its teachers offer encouragement and skills to young people writing about their lives, visions, hopes and fears. So much is required of youth today. They are asked to grow into healthy human beings and productive citizens, often without being given requisite support and respect. To better the conditions our children face, we must first listen to what they have to say—to themselves, to each other, and to parents, teachers, police and presidents. This volume provides just such an opportunity.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781879960718
  • Publisher: Aunt Lute Books
  • Publication date: 4/1/2006
  • Pages: 216
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

WritersCorps, San Francisco, places professional writers in community settings to teach creative writing to youth. The program is part of a national alliance with sites in the Bronx and Washington, D.C., whose shared vision is to strengthen and transform individuals and communities using the written word. Judith Tannenbaum has worked with San Francisco's WritersCorps since the program's beginning; she currently serves as training coordinator. Judith's books include: Teeth, Wiggly as Earthquakes: Writing Poetry in the Primary Grades; Disguised as a Poem: My Years Teaching Poetry at San Quentin; and Jump Write In! Creative Writing Exercises for Diverse Communities Grades 6-12, which Judith co-edited for WritersCorps.

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Table of Contents

Elements 9
The Earth's poetry 10
The letter O 11
Everything is alive 12
There 13
Everything I dream 15
What makes me 16
Himalaya 18
City life 20
Ghetto girl 21
Views of San Francisco 22
City lust 23
The fall that decorates the streets 24
What I remember 25
In my past life ... 26
She's awake 28
Between earth and sky 29
Broken glass 33
What happened? 34
Being a kid is hard 35
Drama 37
Friends in temptation 38
Ain't nobody wanna be gay 39
Where I live 40
The bottles 41
The bus driver 42
A big change in my life from China to America 43
The burning bush 44
Homeless personification 45
Get stereotyped 46
Spaces 47
Invasion 48
Stairs 50
I, too, sing America 51
Truth hurts 52
Life of a toy soldier 53
Fallen rose petals 54
Life 55
Where were you 56
My 'hood 59
Stop the useless killings 60
My life 62
Free 64
World 69
What do you do? 70
The clock is ticking 71
A poem 72
Superstitious 73
I am 74
Farewell 75
Closed window 77
Air 78
Stored dreams 79
A question of love 80
Who will break the chain? 81
Can't see the clouds 82
When it rains 84
My true name 85
Fwump frump 87
Not today 88
The neutrals' wake-up call 90
Our year 91
Revolve 92
Where the world changes 93
Recipe for fire 97
Even the cool wind 98
Afraid of the dark 99
What is a hurricane? 100
Think twice 101
The last time 102
Without parents, without partners 103
Learning English is like 104
The saddest earthquake in my life 105
A long time 106
Slashed in two 107
Blonde and perfect 108
Car lights in a dark garage 109
The wind 110
My first busted lip 111
Dead man walking 112
The first 113
Two rooms filled with a gang of thoughts ... my mind 114
Getting ready 115
Poor old rotting flower 116
Your heart 117
Adolescence 121
Necklace 122
What world are we living in? 123
Heart ... and knives 124
Entering the heart 126
Justice 127
Earth, no sun 128
An obstacle 129
Getting out of bedrock 130
Nothing till you've fallen 131
At least with me 132
Compatriot 133
As I walk 134
This is the year 135
Sunset 136
A free place 137
Dark figure 138
Anger & poetry 139
Through time 140
Andrew 143
Human target 144
Making new things before us 147
Venus : a love poem 148
The letter O 149
Who doesn't see beauty in pain? 150
Inside 152
Lost girl 153
Sisters 154
My mom is everything 155
Below yellow glass 157
The sun and my life 158
Kobritika 159
Compassion 161
Ode to hopscotch 162
Family 163
Moon craters 164
Tranquility 165
Night lights 166
The Fourth of July 167
Reflection 168
Nothing at all 169
Between me and the world ... 171
Let the rain kiss 172
Once upon a time 173
Poetry bottle 174
House without a door 176
Nana don't die 177
Put me somewhere else 181
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