The Adirondack Center for Writing has paraded a trio of poets through communities and high schools in community outreach efforts that included a stop in Old Forge, as part of a Saranac Lake to Remsen tour.
Natalie Thill, Executive Director of Adirondack Center (ACW) for Writing out of Saranac Lake, organized the trip for the Pop-Up Poets (PUP) to perform and educate.
“The ACW programs celebrate the joy of writing, the power of reading for writers and readers throughout the Adirondack region,” Thill said.
Photos by Gina Greco
The PUP curators are Samantha Thornhill, Jon Sands, Adam Falkner, Syreeta McFadden, and Elana Bell.
They are professional artists and educators out of Brooklyn, NY.
Students of all ages at the Town of Webb school had the privilege of meeting Samantha, Jon and Adam as they spontaneously popped-up in various classrooms throughout the school day.
The curators take their poetry readings into dramatic and emotional territory with spontaneous bursts of song or acting, anything to heighten the effect.
So, the Pop-Up Poets frequently burst into the room, singing the phrases really loud.
“The reactions on the children’s faces is priceless,” Thill said.
“The whole point is to bring poetry to people, who wouldn’t naturally go to a poetry reading. Many people hear the word poetry and they shut down. We want to bring a whole new perspective of poetry,” she said.
During the visit, the Pop-Up Poets also provided a writing workshop for those high school students with an interest in writing.
At the end of the day, a high school assembly sought to bring much more meaningful poetry to the students, Thill said.
“Some of the content is quite provocative, on purpose, which is why it’s only for the older students,” she said.
Natalie said that the purpose of the assembly is to allow for easier talk about difficult situations the students face every day.
When they are in their hometown, the curators have been known to “pop-up” in a variety of settings, including subways, laundry mats, high schools, colleges, museums, and an array of businesses.
Natalie said she felt Old Forge would make an ideal “Pop-Up” destination.
“I have a very soft spot for Old Forge, and I’m inspired by small schools like the Town of Webb,” she said. “We hope to bring our poetry back next year, and we hope to see the same reactions from the students and teachers.”