Hi, it’s an honor to join the MCPL community and follow so many talented PLs from the past 20 years. I come from a background in community arts, teaching and painting. My hope is to build cross-pollination and opportunities to workshop, share and connect with artists and poets as well as those new to poetry.
Some background: Trained as a special educator, I taught in that capacity for years , then worked as a poet-in-schools in the 90s. I also studied painting at PAFA (Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts).
Galvanized after 9/11, I joined with other artists and poets to create a poetry program for students in the Greater Philadelphia region, We the Poets, through the arts nonprofit ArtWell (www.theartwell.org). We knew that poetry was a powerful vehicle for self-awareness, expression, dealing with trauma and sharing. Over the years we saw how children from Pre-K through college could practice poetry writing skills that supported their personal growth, literacy and self-esteem. Our programs helped build safer classrooms and a wider sense of community. We taught in school and afterschool programs as well as mosques, synagogues and churches, forming partnerships and giving performances. By now our work has expanded to support thousands of underserved children. We’ve partnered with researchers from Drexel University School of Public Health and University of Pennsylvania’s Social Work School to better understand how to support children. We are having an ArtWell Festival on June 8 from 1 to 5 PM for all ages. Details below: Please Join Us!
I’ll post on from time to time about upcoming projects and opportunities. Please be in touch about your poetry interests and news.
Thanks, Cathy Cohen