Students from Ms. Lippay’s 9th grade English honors class had the opportunity to Skype with award-winning poet and writer Aaron A. Abeyta on February 13th. Students read “Colcha” which is written in English and Spanish and full of personal experience and lyricism.
Ms. Lippay incorporates Abeyta’s poetry into her curriculum each year. She sees students are engaged with the challenge of analyzing the poetry and they enjoy making connections with their own lives and culture. She shares that Abeyta uses code-switching which makes the poetry authentic. He writes about his grandmother and other influential family members as he explores the joys and sadness of life.
Students are tasked with learning more about the poet’s background through videos and articles which the poet shares, and this guides them in their deeper understanding of the themes.
Student Mariana Lanuza shares that, “It was a very fun learning experience to be able to ask a poet firsthand what inspired him”.
Abeyta believes that poetry can change the world by giving a voice to the voiceless. He said that he, “writes for my community” and that poetry is “meant to be shared, as they are windows into ourselves”. He encourages students to notice what others do not, and to just start writing. He shares that the topic will find you, since most of his poetry ends up being a a different subject than what he started.
Aaron Abeyta is a Colorado native, MFA Poetry Director at Western Colorado University, Professor of English and the Mayor of Antonito, Colorado, his hometown. He has four poetry collections and one novel. Abeyta is currently working on his sixth book about fallen heroes.