Award-winning poet brings her talents to the Ohio Center for the Decorative Arts for haiku workshops for children and teens
By: Emily Votaw
Award-winning poet, well-known Columbus-based public broadcaster, and Ohio Arts Council teaching artist Jennifer Hambrick will bring his talents to Ohio Center for the Decorative Arts in Lancaster (145 East Main Street) early next month with the aim of exposing children and young people to the art of haiku.
Hambrick has stated that his love of haiku grew out of his established relationship with free verse lyric poetry.
“As I continued to write haiku and study haiku and came to know the genre more deeply, I fell in love with the challenge of writing a poem of one to three lines, 17 syllables or less. which uses striking imagery that works in juxtaposition in surprising ways to reveal something we may not have considered about the universal human experience,” Hambrick said.
Sunday, April 3 from 2 to 3 p.m. Hambrick will lead a workshop entitled “Haiku Rocks! for children from 9 to 12 years old; the following Sunday, she will return to the Center des Arts Décoratifs for a workshop entitled “What is haiku? intended for teenagers from 12 to 18 years old.
Haiku Rocks! The class will not only teach children what haiku are and how they can write them, but it will also give each child a unique opportunity to share what they have learned with their community. During the workshop, each child will receive a small smooth stone on which to scribble their haiku. After that, whether the child keeps the rock or leaves it somewhere for an unsuspecting stranger to find is entirely up to them.
“The idea for the workshop came from the kind of rock painting craze that has become popular – taking a rock and painting it and just leaving it in the community for someone to find. [During the workshop] kids can write a haiku, then they can take brightly colored paints or Sharpie markers and write their haiku on the rock with these colored markers, maybe add a little drawing or two, then they can either bring the rock back to home and keep it as a keepsake, or bring the rock into the community and leave it for someone else to find and be surprised and enlightened by,” Hambrick said.
The following Sunday workshop, aimed at children ages 12-18, will be a more general lesson in the basics of haiku and how the mode of writing can be used for self-expression.
Both workshops are produced in conjunction with the Ohio Decorative Arts Center’s “Retrospective: The Art of Looking Back” exhibition. The exhibit, which runs through April 24, simultaneously celebrates Ohio’s memory painters and invites visitors to consider the connections and divergences between memory, nostalgia and history.
Following the section “What is haiku?” workshop, Hambrick, alongside other award-winning poets Chiquita Mullins-Lee, Pat Snyder Hurleyand Linda Fuller-Smith, will participate in a poetic reading featuring poetic works inspired by the “Retrospective” exhibition.
On Sunday, April 3, Hambrick will conduct “Haiku Rocks!” a workshop for children aged 9 to 12 from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. On Sunday, April 10, Hambrick will host a workshop for teens ages 12-18 titled “What is Haiku? 12 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. Beginning at 2 p.m. on Sunday, April 10, Hambrick will participate in a poetry reading event featuring poems inspired by the Hindsight: The Art of Looking Back exhibition at the Center for the Decorative Arts of Ohio.
Register for these events at decartsohio.org.