HOPE – Poet and artist Chris James of Little Rock spent a week with Stephanie Smelley’s sixth grade classes developing an in-depth poetic project for each student encompassing imagery, alliteration, figurative language, personification, and other creative writing tools.
James challenged the students to draw from within their individual experiences to express a point of view. As a “spoken word artist,” he uses words to paint mental pictures of personal reality, James noted. That began with the story of his life, which he translated into a poetic memoir, he said. James is the author of two books, and he pens a blog online, as well as creating poetic video. James emphasizes the development of literacy skills in his classroom workshops to enhance the creative writing process, according to his online biography.
James lectured at Beryl Henry Elementary School under the Artist in Residence program of the Hope Public Schools and the Southwest Arkansas Arts Council.