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The Durango Independent Film Festival promotes media literacy by donating books, films and other education material to schools.  This year is the first time DIFF has included school programs as part of the festivities.  The DIFF Teachers Screening Committee selected films with unique viewpoints that lend themselves to engaging and intriguing discussions.  The school programs will be shown to high school and intermediate school students in Ignacio, and to elementary and middle school students in Durango.

Two Poetry In Pictures Series films will be featured in the DIFF school program.  Imperfect Armor and Incantation will be screened at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday,  March 3rd at Ignacio Intermediate School for 3-5 graders.   On Friday, March 4th Incantation will be screened at 10:00 and 10:55 a.m. at the Durango Arts center to 3-5 graders.  I am looking forward to talking with the students about film, poetry and art. The teachers of these students have been sent the poems and asked to discuss with the students their own ideas about images that they might use to illustrate the poetry.

Incantation, A Noiseless Patient Spider and Imperfect Armor have all been used in classrooms and at children’s film festivals and children’s museums to teach children about self expression through multiple forms of art.

Still from Incantation. Copyright © 2008 Rodwan Productions.

Still from Imperfect Armor. Copyright © 2010 Rodwan Productions.

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On December 4th at the University of Colorado I heard Kristen Jorden read her short story “Glossy Pages” that had just been published in the new edition of  Palimpsest: A Creative Journal of the Humanities, in which John’s essay “Second Generation Punks” also appears.  In Jorden’s story young Octavia finds an old camera in the trash and spends her day using her found treasure to capture, in both pictures and poetry, the world she lives in.  This world is not always pretty but she is able to see sunlight and “the opposite of grey” in a fragment of broken glass on the cracked sidewalk.   She photographs the glass and writes a poem about the setting.  Octavia ventures forth to continue taking pictures and writing poems to accompany the images for the coffee table book she plans to publish.   Jorden’s young character is full of joy, imagination and hope.  For me, hearing the author read “Glossy Pages” was the highlight of the event launching the 2010 edition of Palimpsest because the story illustrates the point of the Poetry In Pictures Series workshops which teach youngsters the same age as Jorden’s protagonist to use words and images in a combined effort to express their thoughts and feelings about themselves and the world they live in.

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