I wish I could be there every Tuesday and Thursday!
The last three weeks has been quite the journey, but in a good way. As the
Denver Foundation Summer Intern, I am only at PlatteForum part-time. I recall
participating in one of Andrea’s writing workshops and experiencing in depth where
these students are coming from. Before joining the PlatteForum staff, I would attend
open mics all around the Denver Metro area, and have learned quite a bit about
poetry and that there is no clear-cut definition of it. We all know that life happens,
but PlatteForum’s goal is that every student walks away thinking they can gain
control and take their lives into their own hands. Even now, with the current artist
in residency, the students are exploring what it is that makes us human – to face
those moments where “life happens” and talk about it. It’s so beautiful to witness
each student finding their voice, writing their truth. To confront what it is that is
at your doorstep and saying I may not have control of the situation, but I do have
control of how I feel and confront it. How powerful is that?! …and that is just a small
portion of what is actually going on in the creative process. Every day I walked away
feeling inspired and hopeful for our future.
The Artlab students did not always share what they had written down for each
writing experience. However, Andrea did something that I’d never seen before.
She responded to everyone’s writing without scrutiny and also provided positive
observations on their specific style, the content of the poem, and the writer’s own
performance style. What I love the most about Andrea is that she is just, real. She
will openly update you of the status of her project and admit any trouble she herself
maybe going through in the creative process. Andrea does a phenomenal job of
bringing out the best in others. With each writing prompt she enriches everyone’s
confidence (myself included) and potential. As a writer myself, I appreciate the
level of engagement and encouragement Andrea provides for Artlab because it is
on a level that I haven’t even experience in my time in the Colorado spoken word
community. PlatteForum’s goal is that every student walks away thinking they can
gain control and take their lives into their own hands.
On the days I miss, I wish I’d hadn’t.