The Kansas City Public Library is finding creative ways to extend services and provide access to resources for their patrons as COVID-19 continues to impact regular programming.
The library is partnering with the University of Missouri – Kansas City (UMKC) to offer four new writing classes through the Writers for Readers program.
The classes will be taught by UMKC graduate students in the Creative Writing Program Lynn Snyder and Shannon Moran over Zoom. The classes available are Writing Found Poems, Writing for Change, Personal Writing in Unprecedented Times and Adventures in Creative Writing.
In Writing Found Poems, participants will write a poem each week, adapting words written by someone else to give them new meaning and insight.
Writing for Change will offer participants a course on how writing a vision, mission and values statement can empower them to see the new possibilities in these unique and trying times.
Adventures in Creative Writing is designed for middle and high school students, focusing on the basics of writing – character development, dialogue, image crafting, structure, point of view and artful language choice – through careful reading, analysis, discussion and practice.
Personal Writing in Unprecedented Times will teach participants to think about their own unique perspective and what it can lend to the world of creative writing. The course focuses on three genres of creative nonfiction: prose poem, personal essay, and memoir or micro-memoir.
Classes will begin the first week in October and continue for the duration of the month. RSVPs are required as there are limited spots available. Those interested can learn more about the classes and find links to register on the library’s website.
The proceeds from the 2019 Writers For Readers fundraising event are funding the graduate students who teach these free courses at the library, and assist in planning for a new literary award and citywide book festival. A special, online 2020 Writers for Readers fundraiser will be held Thursday, October 29. The event features New York Times national correspondent John Eligon, National Book Award finalist Sarah Smarsh, and UMKC professor Whitney Terrell in a discussion of the 2020 election.
In other library news, after a brief hiatus, virtual storytime has returned. Families can watch youth librarians read some classics and introduce new favorites on the Library’s Youth YouTube channel. New storytimes will be uploaded every Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday at 9 a.m., and Tuesdays at 7 p.m.