My Senior Project with Way of Words by Siani Anderson / by Andrew Christman

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My name is Siani Anderson. I am a soon- to -be class of 2019 graduate of El Centro de Estudiantes. El centro is an “interest and project-based” school. El Centro has helped me find my true passion for people. I am interested in insuring mental health through psychology and healing arts. After finding out my interest my teacher insisted that I intern at Way of Words. As for methods of healing I decided to shift my focus towards Poetry and Art for my project, which lead me to my essential question, “How does poetry affect the brain?''. I created a survey to find out when listening to or watching someone speak poetry what grasps peoples attention. Whether it be rhythm, rhyme, imagery, or substance.

I was surprised to find that most of the survey-takers preferred imagery and substance, over rhyme and rhythm. I explained to Mr. Andrew what my interests were and he introduced to me the idea of creating a book. I chose the theme to be "Black Lives Matter” and my mind was set then and there upon what I wanted to accomplish as my final project. After creating the panels for an accordion book, I hosted a workshop where people could collaboratively create poems on each. Every panel had a separate theme. Here are my results…..

Black Lives Matter protest

Unknown Protestors

“Breathing black wonder,       grow black power,       build out of the shadows,       beautiful palaces,       go protest.”

“Breathing black wonder,

grow black power,

build out of the shadows,

beautiful palaces,

go protest.”

Police Brutality

Unknown Victims

“Words hurt,      Hands hurt,      protect faith,      in black Philadelphia.”

“Words hurt,

Hands hurt,

protect faith,

in black Philadelphia.”

Suicide

McKenzie Adams

“Youth Grow,      you beautiful black moon-bird,      before angry white blows.”

“Youth Grow,

you beautiful black moon-bird,

before angry white blows.”

Racial Profiling

Tamir Rice

“Reach, Pause, Abide, build caution flow,      guns judged power,      false fear murders children,      faith in peppermint dreams danger,      fear hurts.”

“Reach, Pause, Abide, build caution flow,

guns judged power,

false fear murders children,

faith in peppermint dreams danger,

fear hurts.”

Black on Black Crime/Gang violence

B.I.G & Tupac

“Saluting en vogue . threat,      fight false weapons,      hurt landscape,      race credit,      classic stars,      Patient, Poverty, Power.”

“Saluting en vogue . threat,

fight false weapons,

hurt landscape,

race credit,

classic stars,

Patient, Poverty, Power.”

Everyone who attended my workshop really enjoyed themselves. Some even explained to me how my workshop made them look beyond poetry as being just words. We went into discussion about how poetry isn’t always only a story, sometimes it’s an issue, an image, or it can even be a song. Poetry can be fun. Poetry can be therapy. Thank you Way of Words for allowing me to work with you, and helping me accomplish my goal of making poetry and art interesting to everyone.