The Poetry Center's "Outreach" into the City
Central to our activities is the encouragement we bring to poetry
at all levels of education. Poets from CCNY's creative writing
staff, along with teaching assistants and graduate students,
go into the schools to set up poetry units, and present readings
and workshops in public school class rooms. In addition, we also
have made contact with various community organizations in Har-
lem, including the Harlem Y and Harlem Tours. Local poetry
groups such as those run through the Writer's Voice also send
representatives. The objective is always to help set up a structure
and an atmosphere where original, creative writing -- and an
appreciation for the power of poetry-- can take place. We un-
reservedly believe that poetry contributes to the larger culture
and the process of becoming and maintaining a civilization.
The principal poetry organizations located in New York are all
involved with our efforts. The Poetry Society of America helps
honor our high school winners with guest memberships and gift
books. Teachers & Writers, Inc.sends a representative to help
judge the annual high school poetry contest*. Poets House, a
gracious setting for the enjoyment of poetry, located on Spring
St., has opened its doors to our participants and made its
extensive poetry library available. It has also hosted receptions
for the high school poets who have been recognized by our
poetry contest. We continue to reach out to even more stu-
dents than before. The public schools are more eager than
ever for outside programs as arts and aesthetic education
especially have been largely eliminated by government
In closing, the work of the poetry Outreach Center is one of
City College's most effective teaching and outreach programs.
Its work engages the talents of City's students and faculty who
in turn impact the lives of thousands of public school children.
Moreover, the Center is a demonstration of City College's too
often overlooked human talent, and the contribution that talent
makes to the city of New York.
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