Classrooms Programs

We offer Meet-the-Author sessions, poetry workshops, and writing residencies. The students were fascinated when Ed Myers, winner of the Paterson Prize for Books for Young People, explained how he did research for his adventure novels. The students clustered around him with additional questions and comments and were reluctant to leave the library when the presentations were over. The youngest children were truly thrilled when Danilo Figueredo, author of books based on his own childhood experiences, visited their school. Nothing, however, could surpass the inspirational messages given in the high school by Pulitzer Prize winner Junot Diaz, author of “The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao.”

Poet Charles Johnson had high schoolers' rapt attention as he demonstrated how poetry springs from life experiences, both joyful and painful, and Patricia Smith and M.L. Liebler introduced them to the vitality of performance poetry. Laura Boss and Joseph Weil were successful in inspiring elementary school students to write poems of amazing specificity and feeling about their neighborhoods.

Over 1,000 Paterson students participate in our annual poetry contest sponsored in cooperation with the Poetry Center. The winning poems are presented at a public reading and award ceremony and published in an anthology, the title of which is taken from one of the winning poems.


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