(Dys)poetry: Adults

In-Person / Digital Generative Workshop


Bringing poetry and an exploration of words and stories to adults.


(Dys)poetry: A Generative Workshop is a program aimed at adults to explore writing poetry in an accessible way. The program encourages adults to access poetry through one or two words and collaborate with others to create different pieces. The workshop allows adults to explore poetry while being vulnerable and it allows them to play off of the traditional way of writing poetry. 

Learning goals:

  • Bringing poetry to adults in an accessible and creative way.
  • Helps adults explore different learning and communication styles within poetry. 
  • Creates vulnerable space to allow adults to practice poetry in a creative style.

Concrete poetry image


The workshop will culminate in creating two poems using techniques learned through the workshop. Each person will talk to a partner about a story associated with a word and the partner will practice careful listening. The partner will then point out two words that intensely impacted the story and then the person will create a poem using those words to explore a different way of approaching poetry.


Most workshop is 40-60 minutes and can be conducted in-person or digitally via video chat.

Sarah can present to groups of all sizes including:

  • Arts Center Programming
  • Arts Fairs
  • Book clubs
  • Churches, synagogues, mosques
  • Social/cultural/political clubs
  • Activist groups
  • Adult day care centers
  • Retirement communities

About the Presenter

“I grew up with learning (dys)abilities in a community that views academic success as success in life. I began to learn to read at the age of eight; my school years were tough, with no easy translation between ability and academic success. Now, my poetry works to bridge the gap between those who read with ease, and those who struggle to read. As a poet, I am excited about how language can be bound to the page, as a site, to make poetry. At the same time, the page is the site of my reading (dys)abilities, my barrier to comprehension. This complex relationship to the page, and to poetry, means that I have an unusual perspective which allows me to broaden the conversation about teaching reading and writing, and explore strategies for reclamatory and/or recuperative writing practices. On a larger scale, I believe it is important to open up the conversation because people with learning (dys)abilities are often marginalized in the reading and writing world.”


Sarah is a poet and visual artist. She has taught courses at UMass Boston including Composition, Creative Writing, Osher Long Life Institute, Suffolk County Correctional Facility, and Harvard Graduate School of Design. Sarah has published two chapbooks exploring the path of language in her life. 

*We use a different spelling for the words disabled/disability/disabilities. The prefix dis- means apart or different, while the prefix dys- means difficult. Through intentional rewording, we reorient difficulties with reading towards the positive, recognizing that struggles are difficult but the experience of reading is not necessarily different for those with (dys)abilities than those of others.