Ed Note: Rebecca Wise’s two Creative Writing classes recently completed a wonderful project in which each student produced her own chapbook (a small paperback booklet containing poems or fiction) and presented it at a workshop last week. Here’s a report from one of her students:
For this chapbook project in our Creative Writing class, we could choose to write two stories, eight poems, or one play focusing on one theme. Then, we needed to gather around our pieces; we could either choose to bind the pieces nicely into a book or to make an artifact based on our theme. For the final part of this project, we invited the whole community last Thursday night in the library to listen to us reading our works.
Instead of only writing stories or poems, I wrote one fictional story and four poems. I wrote them based on my grandparents’ experiences. For my story, I used my grandma as the model to write about how an old grandma decided whether her habit, Mahjong, or her grandchildren were more valuable in her mind.
For my poems, I also used my own grandparents as models, and I wrote about their experiences and habits: cooking, playing the piano, experiencing the Cultural Revolution. I did not focus on the book-binding part. Instead, I drew a whimsical picture about my grandparents and printed it on wood using the laser cutting machine in The Innovation Lab. For the reading event, it was also a nice experience for me to see that my audience was interested in my stories and poems!
I wanted to focus on old people because as I talked with my grandparents during this past winter break, I felt like they were lonely. I felt sad about it because my grandparents used to live with my family and raise me from an infant to a child; I could spend lots of time with them back then. However, as I grew up and studied abroad, I barely had a chance to spend time with them. So, I thought I could put my love and care into words to send to them.
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