(Dys)poetry: Parents & Educators

In-Person / Digital Generative Workshop


Providing training sessions that help parents and educators of children with language-learning (dys)abilities* explore different approaches to education.


(Dys)poetry: A Generative Workshop is a program aimed at adults and educators who interact with children that struggle with language learning (dys)abilities. In these workshops, Sarah A. Shapiro presents her struggles with language-learning (dys)abilities, and her exploration of language and learning through poetry. After the presentation, there is an interactive activity that helps parents and educators experiment with language, providing tools for understanding children with language-learning (dys)abilities.

Learning goals:

  • Training educators and parents to empower their children to have ownership over words and their stories.
  • Highlighting accessible experiences for children who are resistant readers and writers.

Concrete poetry image


Sarah can present to groups of all shapes and sizes in-person or digitally via video chat. Please contact us to set up a consultation meeting. Most workshops for parents last 40-60 minutes; most workshops for educators are 60-120 minutes.

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.