Gifted professional storyteller Kevin Cordi has joined forces with former U.S. Children’s Poetry Laureate J. Patrick Lewis to create StoryBox, the Unfinished Poetry Project.
Kevin created the original StoryBox in 1995 as a way for young people all over the world to read the stories of others and share stories of their own. Here’s a link for information about that wonderful program. http://www.storyboxproject.com .
One year ago Kevin and Pat launched a new version of that highly successful project, this time to help bring poetry to the classroom in ways that would encourage children and young adults around the country to read unfinished poems provided by well known poets and complete them in their own ways. Participating teachers would receive a box of unfinished poems along with the poets’ bios and photographs. After giving their students a few weeks to enjoy the poems and finish them, the box, with all the new material in it, went on to the next school. After one year the materials were all returned to Kevin and Pat to enjoy and share with the world via conferences, social media, and a grand event to be held this Sunday at Thurber House in Columbus, Ohio.
To show you Kevin’s level of excitement about this upcoming event, here’s a recent note from him.
“Dear amazing poets,
I can’t believe it has been a year but your poems have traveled around the country and I don’t have enough words to thank you for offering these gifts. Students from all over the nation have contributed to The Children’s Poetry StoryBox. J. Patrick Lewis and I recently spent a few hours reading the wonderful work inspired by your poem starters. We can’t wait to share them with you.
The work has traveled all over the country including a rural West Virginia elementary school to a migrant school in California. I was so excited to hear that Janet Wong met the box on the travels and I was able to meet Joan B. Graham and together we shared at the National Council Teachers of English.
There are so many stories to share about the experience. We invite you to read more of the accounts on our google community. You can find it at https://plus.google.com/u/0/communities/111879884417438537523 .
Now that the Children’s Poetry StoryBox has returned we want to share in so many ways.”
(David’s note here. On April 9 the National Writing Project held a nation-wide podcast where teachers talked about the experience of having the Children’s Poetry StoryBox and teachers read some of the works.)
“On April 26 Sunday at 2 at the well-known James Thurber Center in Columbus, Ohio we will hold a reception where students will read with adult poets from the work in the Children’s Poetry StoryBox. Pat will also be speaking at the event. If you provided a statement or additional poem, we will showcase this on our display tables for each of the contributing poets. We hope to take pictures to share later and possible video the event.”
So there you have it. My congratulations to Kevin and Pat for creating such a good project and involving so many teachers and their young poets around the United States. I hope and trust that the project will continue to prosper over the years to come. I was delighted to be a participating poet.
For further information about StoryBox, the Unfinished Poetry Project, or the original StoryBox, you can reach Kevin at Kevin D. Cordi, Director
643 Nashoba Ave
Columbus, Ohio 43223