Poet-teachers Marcy Gamzon, Reenah Golden, David Ruekberg, and George Steele swing by to talk about the difficult task of teaching poetry in high schools. We cover practices, the pressures of bureaucracy, and the economic disparities that complicate it all.
About the panelists:
Marcy Gamzon has taught creative writing for 20 years to students grades 9-12 who major in a four year program at School of the Arts. Several of her students have gone on to major in creative writing after high school and publish or teach writing. School of the Arts creative writing majors participate in local, state and national writing contests, receiving recognition for their poetry, prose and drama.. A graduate of Carnegie-Mellon University and the University of Rochester, Marcy is active in the Rochester theater community as both a director and actor, having worked with Blackfriars, JCC, and the Rochester Shakespeare Players among others.
George Steele started teaching as a long-term substitute in Norfolk, Va. in 1990, and has taught high school and junior high students. He has been teaching English and Creative Writing at Pittsford-Sutherland for almost twenty years. His poems have appeared widely in various magazines and journals.
David Ruekberg lives in Pittsford with his wife, the storyteller and writer, Leah Ruekberg. He has taught English at Hilton High School since 1992. There he developed the initial English curriculum for the International Baccalaureate Program (IB) in 2003, and has taught in the Program since 2006. He received his MFA in Poetry from the Warren Wilson College Program for Writers in 2004, and in 2005 enjoyed a residency at Jentel Arts in Sheridan, Wyoming. His poetry has appeared in Barrow Street, Mudfish, North American Review, Poet Lore, Yankee, and elsewhere. He is preparing his second manuscript of poems (the first remains unpublished), provisionally titled The Green Light.
Reenah L. Golden is an award winning writer, actress, poet, activist and educator. She teaches and guest lectures regularly at local schools, colleges, universities and cultural institutions and has been invited to perform and present nationally and internationally. Reenah is co-founder of Kuumba Consultants, an arts-in-education agency dedicated to matching artists-of-color with youth agencies and schools seeking quality arts & cultural programming. She has received several local, national and international grants and awards for her work including the Edith Glick Sholman Children's Foundation grant and Partners of the Americas Education and Culture travel grant. Reenah is a McNair Scholar and New York State Council on the Arts Individual Artist Awardee and the 2006 Writers & Books Teacher of Young People Literary Awardee. Her acclaimed K-12 work challenges the notion of arts and culture as extra curricular and strives to infuse these elements into a wholistic school-wide practice that empowers students, families and teachers to work together. Her show The Goddess Hour airs at 8pm every Thursday