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Saundra Norton, Writer
Saundra Norton received her MFA in poetry from Sarah Lawrence College where she is currently Director of the Child Development Institute, an outreach arm of the college that promotes a developmentally informed, holistic, and contextualized view of children, childhood, and education. She has led poetry workshops for children and for teachers and administrators working with children in early childhood, elementary, and middle school settings. She has been poet-in-residence at Vermont Studio Center, Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, Prague Summer Seminars, and Paris Writers Workshop. She is author of Language Arts Activities for Children and contributing writer for Integrating Language Arts and Social Studies and Through the Eyes of a Child: An Introduction to Children’s Literature.
Most Memorable TATIP Moment
"I worked with Mary Cinadr and Scott Lilly in a Residency at 279 in the Bronx where I loved seeing how they brought poetry, movement, the hero’s journey, a singing bowl, Bach and Pachabel into the circle. I discovered the energy and story-telling possibilities of seven-year-olds whose first language is Spanish. They play with language and sound so naturally."
"I have so many favorite moments – highlights were being in a room full of fellow artists and our Master Teachers over the course of the year. I felt nurtured and supported while I was taken out of my own comfort zone and I always left workshops and sessions filled with ideas and feeling empowered - Teaching Social Justice: Current Events through Art, Inquiry, and Reflection last summer and performing with fellow teaching artists in Union Square, Movement with the National Dance Institute, and I really loved talking to supporters at the benefit and meeting the children who performed (talk about empowered voices!) I’ve loved it all!"
Find out more about Saundra here:
One day, a shaman
retreats into darkness
and enters a trance
to paint visions by oil lamp.
He paints bison, aurochs that would become extinct,
and wild horses with small heads and round bellies
a thick black line for the mane and face,
a light outline of the back and belly in red ochre and brilliant yellows.
He paints shapes, dots, and patterns of language before language.
He paints to bring them into the world and make them plentiful.
He uses fur, feathers, wood brush,
and powdered pigment blown
through hollow bones;
he leaves his fingerprint
in the eyes of the horse.
One day, four boys
in search of a lost dog
climb down a narrow shaft
to find a series of chambers
ceilings and walls
covered in paintings,
a cavalcade of animals.
Lamplight makes the horses float across the vaults.
Oil lamp fading, they return to the surface.
They each bring five friends
and charge forty centimes.
Their schoolmaster, thinking the story
a trick to push him down a hole, visits as well.
Soon, the entire village of Montignac
lines up to climb down the narrow shaft
and crawl along the chambers.
An artist arrives to make sketches of the paintings.
The shaman’s oil lamp is found below the tail of the horse,
soot and juniper wick still intact.
Word spreads through France, Europe, the world.
Picasso visits and after seeing the horses
declares, we have invented nothing.
Interested in TATIP? Find out more about our 2016-17 Program!
See more of our 2015-16 Graduates in the 2016 TATIP Anthology!