BRONX, NY – Truman students flexed their creative writing muscles with the help of an expert Tuesday as poet and author Mariahadessa Ekere Tallie visited the school to conduct an up-close and personal workshop on the art of writing and poetry.
“Your students are amazing, I mean, I do this at colleges, mostly so I was saying I felt actually like I was in my own classroom,” Tallie told student reporters in a videotaped interview.
Tallie has published one book of her poetry, with another on the way. According to her website, her poetry and fiction works have been published in several journals in the United States, France and South Africa. She says that she was inspired to write by the various causes she saw in the community around her.
“I was nurtured by a group of writers who were also activists,” Tallie said. She went on to explain that each writer’s pathway is different. “For me, a writer is also an engaged citizen.”
Tallie told student reporters that one literary work specifically motivated her to pick up a pen.
“I read the autobiography of Malcolm X, and I saw how the words of Malcolm X completely changed the way that I saw myself,” she said. “And I wanted to be able to have my words possibly do that for someone else.”
Her visit comes as Truman celebrates April as Poetry Month. In addition to the hands-on writing workshop, students are also participating in a poetry writing contest, and a poetry reading event. The winners of the contest will be invited to record their works at Webster Hall at the end of this month.
Students from three separate English classes took part in the workshop, which was held in the school’s library. All of the participants received a copy of Tallie’s book to keep.
To learn more about Tallie, you can visit her website by clicking here.