Carnegie Mellon Press Release: March 22, 2004
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Press Release

Jonathan Potts

For immediate release:
March 22, 2004

Carnegie Mellon Student Writers Team Up With High School Students To Publish Poetry Anthology

PITTSBURGH—Students in the Creative Writing Program at Carnegie Mellon University are sharing the tricks of their trade with literary arts majors at the Pittsburgh High School for the Creative and Performing Arts (CAPA) as part of a collaborative project in which the students team up to publish a poetry anthology and hold a poetry reading. The reading will take place at 7 p.m. Thursday, April 1, in CAPA's Black Box Theater, Downtown.

The event is the culmination of the semester-long project in which Carnegie Mellon students who are enrolled in an advanced poetry workshop pair up with CAPA students to help their younger counterparts hone their skills as writers. The Carnegie Mellon students assign readings for the CAPA students and help them revise their own work. Together, they publish "Boundary Street," a collection of poetry written by both groups of students.

"I think my favorite thing is interacting with another person who has a passion for writing," said Jeri Ogden, a CAPA junior. She is one of 20 CAPA students participating in the project.

This year marks the third time students from the two schools have collaborated on this project, which at Carnegie Mellon is overseen by Jim Daniels, the director of the university's Creative Writing Program.

"Many of our students go on to teach, and this experience gives them a taste of what to expect down the road. In addition, it gives them the opportunity to get off campus and connect to the larger Pittsburgh community in some way," Daniels said.

Mara Cregan, the coordinator of CAPA's literary arts program, said the project affords her students the perspective of writers who are closer in age to them than their teachers. "It gives my high school kids experience in an undergraduate writing program," Cregan said.

Carolyn Elliott, a Carnegie Mellon junior, participated in the program when she was a student at CAPA. As a college student, the program has challenged her to reflect on principles of writing so that she can explain them to CAPA students. When she was at CAPA, the project taught her that it was possible to continue to study poetry and be successful at it.

"I really liked seeing the whole community of people dedicated to writing. It made me excited for college, and it contributed to my desire to come to Carnegie Mellon," Elliott said.

The Creative Writing Program, part of the Department of English at Carnegie Mellon, is widely recognized as one of the nation's best, and it is one of the few such programs dedicated solely to undergraduate education. The English Department is part of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, which is the second-largest academic unit at Carnegie Mellon and offers more than 60 majors and minors. The college emphasizes interdisciplinary study in a technologically rich environment, with an open and forward-thinking stance toward the arts and sciences.


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