Teaching Artist Statement

The poem outlives the poet. In my workshops, I emphasize the creation of art: its inspiration, its drafting, and its polishing. My goal is for participants to recognize they are already using language in creative ways.

Thank you for teaching me the art of poetry.
-Bemnet, 6th grade (SY 2017-18)

As a poet who writes in narrative, I encourage participants to use the substance of their life as material for poetry. I love both the stage and the page, which means that during workshops I incorporate spoken word, videos, and text to show poetry’s scope and possibility. Notions of what poetry should be are irrelevant to my mission; instead, participants walk away with a wider definition of what poetry can be.

Workshop Experience

Claudia has led workshops for many occasions in classroom and slam event settings, including Hyper Bole 2018. She leads workshops throughout the year for youth ages 12 and up.

  • Oakridge Elementary School: “Poetry Day Workshop.” Grade 5, groups of 20+ students. Mar. 2019
  • DC Commission on the Arts & Humanities – Poetry Out Loud: Poetry recitation techniques. High school, grades 9-12. Feb. 2019.
  • DC SCORES: Slam writing and performance preparation. Elementary school, 25+ students; Judge at Middle School Poetry Slam! Oct. – Nov. 2018
  • GALA Hispanic Theatre – Paso Nuevo: “An Introduction to Poetry.” High school, 20+ students. Oct. 2018
  • Latin American Youth Center (LAYC) – 2nd Nature: Poetry Instructor for middle school and high school, 6 students. Summer 2018
  • Casa Chirilagua: “An Introduction to Poetry.” Middle school, 7 students. June 2018
  • George Washington Middle School – Community Builders: Poetry workshops. Middle school, 18-20 students. Spring 2018
  • Split This Rock – Hyper Bole: “The Poem and the Immigrant Poet.” High school and college, 15-18 students. Feb. 2018