Friday, August 12, 2016

Florida Heritage Book Festival to offer two workshops for youth

Calling future poets and graphic novelists! 
Florida Heritage Book Festival to offer two workshops for youth
Young students can learn first-hand the art of poetry and developing graphic novels, as part of the 2016 Florida Heritage Book Festival. Florida Poet Laureate Peter Meinke and artist Jeanne Clark Meinke will offer a hands-on poetry session for eight to 12-year-olds and acclaimed graphic novelist Andre Frattino will teach teenagers the nuts and bolts of the graphic novel industry on Saturday, Sept. 17.
“These children’s sessions are the first ones we’ve had to-date,” Jim Wilson, executive director of the festival, said. “They will give students the chance to experience first-hand the creative craft, by leading artists in their fields.”
Peter Meinke has published eight books of poems in the prestigious Pitt Poetry Series, his most recent being Lucky Bones” (2014).  In addition, he has published two children’s books and eight poetry chapbooks; His work has appeared in Poetry, The Atlantic, The New Republic, The New Yorkerand dozens of literary magazines; and has received numerous awards, including two National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Fellowships, three prizes from the Poetry Society of America, two O’Henry Awards, and many others. He directed the Writing Workshop at Eckerd College for several decades, retiring in 1993. Some of his work, including his third children’s book “The Elf Poem,” has been illustrated by his wife Jeanne Meinke, who was a regular contributor to The New Yorker in the 1980s and 1990s.
For the Meinke’s poetry session, they will provide students tips on how to start writing, how they generate their own ideas and how to enjoy the process.
“Children can expect to learn that they can become writers and artists like us,” Peter said. “It's not magic, but a matter of sitting down with blank paper and trying something out. If they enjoy it (as we did when we were children), they can keep doing it, improving their skills as they grow, like anything else.”
Frattino, the artist leading the graphic novel session, is also a native of Florida. Since 2012, he has published his ongoing Florida-based graphic novel series, including titles “The Reaper of St. George Street,” “Lost Souls of Savannah” and “The Vampirate of Matanzas Inlet.”
For his session on developing a graphic novel, Frattino will provide an overview of the art and history of comic books and will teach teenagers the critical foundation for publishing their own work.
Frattino attained a bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts from Savannah College of Art and Design in 2009 and his master’s degree in Art Education from the University of Florida in 2013. He continues to write for comics and children’s books and has worked for clients including award-winning author Shelley Fraser Mickle, The Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings Foundation and Firehouse Subs. 
Three-hour long sessions will be offered for both poetry and graphic novel genres on Saturday, Sept. 17. The poetry session, open to eight to 12-year-olds, will be held from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. The graphic novel session, open to 13 to 18-year-olds, will be held from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Each session is $20 per participant and registration is required. Visit for more information or to register.

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