The Paulann Petersen Poetry Workshop
by Jan VanStavern, Chemeketa Writes Coordinator
This winter, Oregon Poet Laureate Paulann Petersen joined Chemeketa students, staff, and community members for a Saturday Writing Workshop. In a playful and creative event, she struck students as a very helpful teacher (she inspired some of our best poetry in a year in a quick half hour exercise) who was also generous and respectful of our work: she started one writing activity with a strong “sample” from a former student of hers, and any time we applauded her, she clapped back and thanked us. People that kind who are also helpful are rare, and helpful kind people who are also really good poetry coaches are rarer still. She was all of that, and the poems here attest to some of what she helped us create.