Soft Corps

Joy Jones is cute and funny. She writes, “An artist can change lemons into lemonade/Gators into Gatorade/An escape into an escapade.” Jones, a local poet and WritersCorps teacher, is also serious. “Poetry cures cancer/And a song sung through your tears/Will do more to draw God nearer/Than a hundred Hail Marys.” While you’re trying to figure out whether that last line is devout or blasphemous, we’ll be using Jones as a metaphor for the whole WritersCorps program, which launches a book today, Days I Moved Through Ordinary Sounds. It’s a collection of work by the writer-teachers of WritersCorps, who go into public schools, community centers, and juvenile detention facilities to find kids who don’t otherwise get to spend much time thinking of themselves as creative. The program provides support for the teachers and, sometimes, a lifeline for the students. Because, as Jones puts it, “Are you sick?/Well, you should be —/A lack of art causes constipation and mental illness.” Cute! Funny! Deadly serious! Kind of like the book, and the program, and the kids.

The book’s editor, Chad Sweeney, and WritersCorps members appear tonight.
Wed., April 15, 7 p.m., 2009

 
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