"You May (Not) Know" is one of two poetry books created as the culmination of a Speak4th Writing Workshop series. The student authors were a group of about twenty teenage girls and many of them initially expressed, that they had "nothing to say." Several others wanted to remain anonymous in the book because they felt their writing "wasn't anything poetic."
I of course, disagree. I see something in, around and between their plainly profound lines.
I am honored and inspired when I compile and edit the student work. To me, it is sacred to witness the thoughtful young ladies find an unexpected flow when putting the pen to page. Especially when they stick to the main "rule" of the workshop: Write the truth. It's a funny thing about truth. Sometimes when we let it out, rhythm appears; rhyme happens; magic shows up.
Scroll down to read a few of these simple, sacred student poems...
On behalf of all the Speak4th students, thank you for reading.
- Marie Whitman
"Marie provided poetry workshops to juvenile first-offenders referred through the State Attorney's Office. Her engaging sessions were therapeutic and helped the youth gain insight and redefine their concept of self."
- Claudia Calabrese, LCSW, Community Youth Services
"Broward County's Main Library hired Marie Whitman to do a poetry workshop for teens.I was impressed at how she used popular culture to draw their attention but more so at how she was able to have several of the girls talk about themselves candidly, in front of the group and guide them to create performance poetry. Marie connected with teens which allowed everyone to feel comfortable and creativity flowed. I hope to have the opportunity to work with Marie again; she captivates her audience as an educator and artist."
Lynlee Lebensart, MLIS, University of South Florida
Librarian, Palm Beach County
"Ms. Whitman inspired the girls that she worked with, to express themselves through writing and get in touch with emotions. When Marie performed her own poetry, many commented that it “Sounded like a song." The New D.A.Y. program has benefited tremendously from collaborating her."
- Jasset Tharp, MS, Team Leader, Community Youth Services
Memorial Healthcare System
Marie is an active member of The Broward Cultural Council’s Arts In Education coalition (AIE.) AIE is a prestigious organization of professional Teaching Artists selected through a stringent application process. Artists are chosen to be a part of AIE based on their knowledge, experience, skill and achievements.
As a Teaching-Artist-In-Residence with Memorial Health Care's New Day Program, Marie presented Poetry and Dance workshops and performances to at-risk youth and under-served populations.
In collaboration with Christina G Smith Community Mental Health Marie presented poetry and creative writing workshops to young people experiencing emotional or behavioral challenges.
Marie presented Dance & Creative Movement Workshops for the Very Special Arts Festival in North Carolina working with youth with disabilities.
Marie Whitman has presented her Speak4th Workshops for Adults and Youth since 2008, providing a dynamic and inspiring creative writing experience for participants of all levels. The Workshop series culminates in a Spoken Word Performance and/or a book collection of student work. Workshops can be tailored to fit the demographics of the group.
Speak4th Students become Authors! Marie facilitated the publishing of a book of poetry called "You May (not) Know" which featured writings of the teens who participated in the Speak4th Workshop.
Click here to read
some of the students' wondrous work and words!
Marie Whitman is a Teaching Artist for
PROJECT LEAP! Living Equality through Arts and Performance
Conceived by Choreographer, Pioneer Winter and thanks to support from the Miami Foundation & Miami Dance Studio, LEAP was offered as a free program utilizing the Arts to to infuse the messages of equality, empowerment & acceptance into the lives of Miami teens.