Allia Abdullah Matta led this workshop, the last of Newtown Literary's free creative writing classes before the summer break. On a rainy day in May in the midst of a seemingly never- ending winter, a dozen hardy souls gathered at the Lewis Latimer House Museum in Flushing to practice their craft.
Ms. Matta, an associate professor at CUNY La Guardia Community College, is a poet who believes in the transformative power of art and creative expression. Her interactive workshop called on participants to craft poems that told stories of their origins or witnessed issues of race and immigration.
Using forms such as haiku, zuihitsu, and ekphrastic poetry, writers were encouraged to experiment and create their own centos from the works of various poets, as well as incorporating the musicality of the blues and the imagery of found art in giving expression to their own works which they shared with the class.