TATIP Anthology


Javan Howard, Creative Writer

Javan Howard is a poet and writer from the Bronx, NY. He graduated with a B.A. in Africana Studies and Minor in Creative Writing and Poetry from Dickinson College in Carlisle, PA. Howard mentors incarcerated youth in NYC through poetry workshops where students strengthen their voices and cultivate their creative talents. He has facilitated and assisted in poetry workshops and service learning workshops with the Division of Juvenile Justice and Opportunities for Youth (DJJOY) as an AmeriCorps member for The New York State Office of Children and Family Services, Voices UnBroken (Bronx, NY) and Wingspan Arts (New York, NY). In his leisure time, Howard participates in open mic events under the moniker “Righteous Teacher.” He uses poetry as a social forum to foster discourse about love, culture, and identity. He truly believes that the lived experience is the ultimate teaching tool because it allows us to connect with individuals from various lines of interest. His work has been featured online at Black Heart Magazine and Brooklyn Stories Vol. 13.


“Thus far I the wonderful opportunity to assist at an in school residency for community word. It has given me a chance to gain insight on facilitation techniques and classroom management from two experienced teaching artist in Max Allbee and Katie Issel Pitre for a first grade classroom at P.S.316 in Brooklyn, NY.” 

“I also had the chance to have multiple residences as a Teaching Artist Assistant in After School programs working with children K-5. I have worked at Harlem Village Academy West (Harlem, NY)  and currently assist at BSI/TAOTS (Brooklyn, NY)  and PS. 183 (Upper West Side) for Wingspan Arts.”

“The training program has given me the tools to reflect on my teaching style and to utilize a multitude of techniques and skills from various disciplines (Visual Arts, Photography, Poetry, Music) to enhance the creative and educational experience within the workshops that I produce. It has also linked the external and internal elements of community, creativity, the art of effective co-facilitation.”

“Throughout the process, I have also been paired with Paco Marquez. It has been great to bounce ideas off one another as we collaborated to produce multiple lesson plans and a 15 week Teaching Path that balanced creativity with cross-curriculum integration, and the use of array of multiple intelligences. We have stepped outside our comfort zone to enhance our understanding of using poetry, art and creativity not only as a tool for educating youth and children but also for our own growth as teaching artists.”

Find out more about Javan here:

Instagram, Twitter, LinkedInGoogle Plus, Pintrest & WordPress

Articles on Javan and his work at Dickinson.edu and the New York Juvenile Justice Corps blogspot.

See some of Javan’s writing at The Young & The Powerful Group and some of his poetry at Black Heart Magazine.

Check out Javan’s Lesson Plan that he presented with his TATIP partner, Paco Marquez.

“We Were Artists” by Javan Howard

We were artists
exploring ways to 
express our sufferings 
put into words the crazy
thoughts and dry syllables that hung
to the roof of our mouths
like a foreign language.
thirsting for ways to
contextualize our 
empty experiences into
conversations, artistic crafts 
and other works of arts.

We were artists
looking for ways to 
create within the instability that 
consumed our minds,
the world we lived in, 
by breaking our fear to be visible.
So they called us crazy 
for following our dreams
teaching for social justice
and creativity, advertise 
us as Mad Men, creative 
engineers chartered outside 
the edge of the common core

We were artists 
striving for ways to 
grow, a yellow brick road
of some sort. A Teaching Path,
Blueprint for the Arts, a plethora 
of creative avenues bridged across 
multiple intelligences, practices, 
techniques, simultaneously 
strengthening our voices
through the art of collaboration,
until our minds became
a Graffiti Wall of ideas.

We were artists 
drawing pictures from 
personal experience, using 
our imaginations to anchor
a community, discourse. 
We were artists. Blank
pieces of paper that would
not be crumbled. Airbrushed 
with strokes of encouragement 
and teachable moments 
that reminded us  there 
are no mistakes in art 
only opportunities for creativity 

Interested in TATIP? Find out more about our 2015-16 Program!

See more of our 2014-15 Graduates in the 2015 TATIP Anthology!