The past week has been typically busy, as we’ve had a number of meetings the past few days with local media outlets and government officials to advance the work we’ve been doing insofar. On Tuesday, for example, we had a recording at the Radio One studio in Port Louis, in which we talked about the Fellows’ programs and promoted the Education Center. The roughly five minute broadcast of our interviews aired the next day, and some of us were lucky enough to catch Vedant, BJ, and Lexy discussing ELI Africa on the radio waves after our Wednesday meeting with officials from the U.S. Embassy in Mauritius.
I’ve also continued to stay in touch with the Ministry of Arts and Culture with regard to the progress of my proposed youth poetry prize. The official we met with to discuss the project pitched it on Monday to Mauritius’ President’s Fund for Creating Writing. And while this is certainly an exciting piece of news, it doesn’t seem like Monday’s meeting resulted in any concrete results.
According to the officials in the Ministry of Arts and Culture I’ve been dealing with, my prize idea has to clear a number of additional hurdles before becoming reality – and it’s unclear (at least for now) how long this process may take. I’ll be making calls further pursuing the project until a final word comes back on it, but at this point it seems unlikely that I’ll be able to officially establish a prize before I leave for home.
Things in “class poéme” have been going more smoothly. Today we had a final review of sorts, since almost all of next week will be spent on creating the students’ “Where I’m From” poems that they’ll present to a broader community next weekend. The review went about as well as I could’ve expected, as my students got almost every answer right in our “Jeopardy”-esque quiz game – even the most challenging ones (like the ones about iambic pentameter) I’d intended to stump them with.
Next week we’ll transition into focusing exclusively on the final projects, but only after the “Famous Poets Weekend” I have planned for the next two days.
It’s also been a while before I’ve posted some sample student writing, so here’s one of the “mini-epics” produced by student’s while we talked about epic poetry this past week. While I can’t say I fully approve of the poem’s content, I think Stephy did a good job working to capture the elements of epic poetry we discussed in class (focusing on heroes/their deeds, epithets, inclusion of supernatural beings, etc.):
Brave Lexy, Lexy entering the dark forest
Searching for the horrible Ed
Ed was the wizard of the village
From where Lexy comes.
He had killed mostly all the people living in the village
Using his supernatural power
Thegreat wizard Ed was well known in the country
For eating his victims
Brave Lexy was searching for revenge.
Even if she was afraid she knows that she has to defeat the horrible Ed.