National Poetry Month Spotlight: Stories of Arrival

Posted on

Mar 22 2016
Foster High School student with Jack Straw teaching artist Meg McLynn. Photo credit: Sherwin Eng.

This week, we're featuring the Stories of Arrival: Refugee and Immigrant Youth Voices Poetry Project, an initiative that showcases poems by English Language Learner students at Foster High School in the Seattle area, many of whom were forced out of their countries and lived in refugee camps before arriving in the United States. For the past six years, project codirectors ELL teacher Carrie Stradley and project founder and poet Merna Ann Hecht have helped the students tell their stories through poems, which the students then record at Jack Straw Studios in Seattle with assistance from vocal coaches. KBSC 91.3 airs the recordings each April for National Poetry Month. For this year's project, students created poems drawn from their memories of food in their home countries, which include Burma, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Guatemala, India, Iran, Iraq, Mexico, Nepal, Somalia, Thailand, and Vietnam. This poetry project is supported by the Institute for Poetic Medicine in Palo Alto, California, Jack Straw Cultural Center, King County 4 Culture, and the Tukwila School District.

Foster High School Students

To listen to the poems and learn more visit www.jackstraw.org/programs/ed/youth/foster.shtml. And, read about the Stories of Arrival project's anthology, Our Table of Memories: Food & Poetry of Spirit, Homeland & Tradition (Chatwin Books, 2016).