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Kim Lindell

© 2003

the lucky witness of the MWP


Minnesota Writing Project’s 13th Annual Selective Institute 2003

The demonstration lessons and fantastic personalities will stick in my memory, and so will the writing that you shared this summer. I felt very privileged to sit with each of this summer’s writing groups. Each of you brought such a rich text to your groups, each group forming its own process and dynamic. Whether a casual pace or conscientious timekeeping, sincerity and laughter were exchanged between writers and critics. I feel fortunate to know such intelligent educators who teach writing and write themselves. Isn’t that the most authentic of ways – to jump in and participate, expose yourself as a writer, to provide feedback to help other writers sharpen their prose, to discuss pedagogy? Ultimately, I think we all had a chance to be students again – and can return to our student-writers as writers ourselves – reacquainted with that honesty.

With ease I recorded my memories of your writing. In a bit clumsier fashion, I turned my impressions of your writing into a kaleidoscope of words. Perhaps you’ll let it represent the synergy of our collective efforts as writers this summer. Maybe you’ll put it on your desk, or perhaps it will collect dust, but when you look at this poem again, may you remember the web of educators and writers you influenced this summer. Thanks. May you remember that honest voice of the writer and peer that you encouraged this summer. And may you give yourself time to write.

Poem for the people, of the people
Jessica - fluent satire spark
Christine - orderly and ancestral
Rita – worldly, tattooing courageous nomad
Joanne – connecting connections through thinking, writing, and experience
Janelle – furrows of inspiration, the work of the plow and the seed that’s nurtured
Michael B. – mornings at dawn in winter
Jane – daffodils for the writer’s word-brush
Margaret – a secret motorcycle-adventurer
Robyn – the mystery novelist, engineered plotting thinking lives to deaths
Beth – seascapes and rocky channels, freshness of detail, implicit drama
Karen – arguments resolved with video – or are they?
Anne – peach juice of delectable childhood memories
Michael F. – encourage the dolphins to jump out of our socks
Karyn – gusto for memory, for an understanding of who we are
Katie – “I wrote about my mom,” the courage of the personal
Amy – capstones steps of integrating science into the curriculum
Oreather – clarity of voice, recorder of the peaches
Muriel – prompts and process-wisdom of the practice
Marsha – journals of grandfathers, learning that’s in your bones
Erin – computer woman, missions of organization
Terri and Co. – the muscle behind the brains of MWP
Lilly – the personal essay and film clips
Ann – organizer and panther listner
me, Kim – the lucky witness.

Kim's kaleidoscope poem