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Reading Council to present workshop with Maria Luisa Arroyo

The Pioneer Valley Reading Council will present its second "Literacy and Community" workshop for the 2009-10 academic year on Nov. 12 at the Chicopee Elks Lodge #1849 at 431 Granby Rd., Chicopee. Workshop registration begins at 3:45 p.m. and is followed by the workshop at 4:15 p.m. Maria Luisa Arroyo will read her poetry and she and Sherry Sausville will discuss writing poetry with children. Arroyo and Sausville will provide an interactive experience for workshop attendees. This will be accomplished by using and creating traditional and multicultural poetry. Many classroom tips will be given. Arroyo was born in Manati, Puerto Rico, and raised in the North End of Springfield. She is a poet, a translator and an educator. Educated at Colby, Tufts and Harvard, she has taught college students German, Spanish, Creative Writing and English Composition. A 2004 Massachusetts Cultural Council artist grant winner in poetry, Arroyo facilitates Spanish-language and English-language workshops with poets of all ages and at all stages and performs her poetry at local and regional venues. Many of her poems have been published in literary journals such as The Bilingual Review, CALYX, the Women's Review of Books and Palabra: A Magazine of Chicano and Literary Art. The following is Arroyo's poetic statement: "Writing poetry is not isolated from the acts of reading, teaching and performing it. Whenever I teach workshops - whether to fifth graders or to community college students whose ages range from 18 to 75 - participants immediately understand this as we work together to build a temporary community of poets from a random group of strangers. "Regardless of the age or stage, as established poets or poets-in-progress, we must open ourselves up to listen with intent to each other's works; to respond truthfully and respectfully; to learn how to discern between true sentiment and sentimentality in our own work and in the works of others; and to never apologize for the sound of one's own voice nor for the subject matter that one chooses. "To become a poet means to learn how to claim one's authentic voice; to access and navigate through one's poetic landscape - be it through memory, experience, moments of weakness, one's pure imagination or a combination of them all; to develop one's craft by reading widely and writing regularly; and to be open to the idea that sources of inspiration for poems exist everywhere." Sausville, a professor at Springfield Technical Community College, has over 30 years of experience at a college instructor and junior high school teacher. Currently President of Pioneer Reading Council and Vice-President Elect of Massachusetts Reading Association, she also holds membership in the International Reading Association and Massachusetts Association of College and University Reading Educators. Educated at American International College, she has a strong love of poetry and the creative process which she shares with her classes. As a local and statewide presenter, she has facilitates workshops about poetry, historical fiction in children's literature, study skills and the writing process for developmental students. Pioneer Valley Reading Council is an approved provider for PDPs, and the series of five workshops meet the DOE requirements. For further information, call Meredith Cox at 323-5524 or e-mail her at this address.

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