Mixed Media: 1 & 2: Race, Power, Bias, Without Question

The past two sessions we focused on how one might discover poetry in one’s everyday lives– through the poem, Q&A from Erratic Fire, Erratic Passion: The Poetry of Sports Talk by Pasha Mala and Jeff Parker.   We also took a look at Anna Deavere Smith’s  interview/monologues that she writes like poetry in her one woman show, Fires In The Mirror. Passionate discussions followed our readings: on race, power, putting words in people’s mouths, poetry in language, religion, culture, attitudes toward authority, and bias. The Q&A poems are constructed with Answers only, leaving the reader to wonder at the Questions asked. Students could ‘pick’ who they wanted to ‘interview’ from the world of sports, the local crime problem, or some imagined interchange.  The Identity poems were prompted by such questions as: What/who does your culture say are? What/who do others outside your culture say you are? What does clothing say about who you are?

You will see both styles/topics represented below.

Mrs. Nazimek, 8th Grade
1st Period

Malanie L.

A: Are you going to ask me something? Ask me about my neighborhood around us.
A:There are a lot of things happened around us who do (you) insist people have to go through bad things.
A: Instead we should just let good people out of bad things.

Chicago AKA Murder Town
Jorge M.

A: Chicago is becoming more violent then it used to be
A: They have been so many killings this year in Chicago and the percent of killings have been going up.
A:Why is Chicago changing it is now becoming the murder town, we need new police officers so then they could stop all of the violence that is going on in Chicago and do something to stop it, we don’t want our city to become murder town because then people won’t wanna come and visit.

Mrs. Nazimek, 8th Grade
2nd Period

Derrick Rose
Aidan R.

A: I loved Chicago, I loved Chicago, I loved Chicago, but I really loved Chicago.
A: But now I am here in the Big Apple trying to prove to people that I have the fire still like I did in the 2010-2011 Season.
A: But after this interview I am going to do what everyone else does is eat and sleep. Have a good night.


Toews & Kane
Andrea H.

A: Yes, it was a huge pain knowing you needed to carry the whole team. I’m not boastful, but we won!
A: GO HAWKS! We hear you say, but when we lose you’re not proud, but ‘you see what happened when we all buy in, we all play the right way.’
A: We could have lost!! We were second to won. There could have been no game 7. This sport is my life not my hobby.


Soccer Player
Marlene P.

A: First you train and do the best you can so you can do better at it.
A: I started because it was the most amazing things ever and I have been trying to learn to be good at then I was a little kid.
A: I liked it because I’ve been doing it since I was a child and my father wanted me to be a soccer player.


The Definition of Myself
Jacob K.

My culture says that I can
be anybody I please, that I
have no limits to my being
that nobody but myself can define

Any other cultures see me as…
well…just an outsider, an outsider
to their religion, nobody, nobody, nobody
nobody. Who are they to try and
define me? Can you answer me
that? Who in this world can
define me, if anybody?!

Our clothing may give us a stylish
or cunning appearance, but our personality
is what truly defines us. Not
so much as defines us, but it gives
people an idea of who we are.
Our clothing can make people think
we are a rebel or a bad ass
but on the inside we may be a
gentle, kind, loving, caring person that
only wants to love, but loves too
much and you get hurt too much
and every time you fall deeper and
deeper into the dark but you will
rise, because only you know you, and
only you can define yourself.

Our Mixed Up World
Sophia T.

my family huddled into the living room
ready for the announcement
our new president is_____________________
what will he do?
what will the people think?
is it even safe to walk outside?
I cant be seen eating a taco again.
what it feels like to be a Hispanic in today’s
world you say?
I feel like any other person
there’s discrimination in very step any person
and yo cant outrun it.
you will be judged yo will be hated for something
you can’t control
be proud of who you were raised to be
its all just words
I am a Hispanic who will not be put down by the
words of others
just like all the other millions of them

we stand strong

Nadia P.

Much as
possibly as
Puerto Rican
People notice me
as whatever
they want.
‘Oh, she seems, hispanic’
I guess we can stick
with that
people have
their own
it can mean something
to us
just judge
Being yourself
defines you

Mrs. Nazimek, 8th Grade
3rd Period


Police Officer
Elizabeth R.

A: Everyone today is on their phones, and no copper wants to be the next YouTube star. You can’t do anything without the whole world knowing.
A: Gangs and lone wolves are targeting cops for street executions, and for what? For power? To be feared? To show who is in charge? In this world, it’s all about power, and what that power gets you.
A: Investagatory Stop Reports (ISR) are a big reason as to why crime has increased. No cop want to fill out ISR’s which take 30 minutes so the cops stop being aggressive. They cut back on their jobs which makes the people in the gangs job’s easier.

Andrea M.

‘Mexicans/Latinos have tan skin”
All Latinos come in all different skin tones
‘They come to America to steal from the economy.
They are the ones who cut your grass, the ones who
open the doors for you at hotels and the
ones who serve you in restaurants.
Why do people make up
Because they do not want to
work as hard as people?
They criticize people who work
hard so they can feel much
better of themselves.
Sure we come late to
events, talk fast, we have
flaws as everyone else
in this.

It doesn’t matter the color
of your skin. We have
flaws and should celebrate
them as a unity together.

What defines who I am
Caleb P.

Who me?
that’s a short story.
uninteresting even.
but why not.

outgoing to say the least
brain full of run-on sentences
talk more than I should

personality game strong
call me smart if you want

But what really defines me?

Purple penguins
flying donkeys
astronaut riding a tiger

pretty self explanatory

I guess





“Writing poetry makes me feel like I can see myself, like I can see my reflection, but not in a mirror, in the world. I write and I know I can be reflected.”
-Oscar S.

“Writing poetry makes me feel free.”
-Buenda D.

“Writing poetry is like your best friend.”
-Jessica M.