• $49.00 – Program Price
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Poetry as Inspiration: A Two-Part Mini

With Padma Venkatraman, Aida Salazar and Laura Shovan

May 18 - 19, 2021


Webinar-style, Online (Facilitated with community participation limited to chat and Q & A)

Two 75-minute Zoom sessions (May 18 and 19, 2021, 7pm – 8:15pm Eastern)


Read, connect, and explore with poets Aida Salazar, Laura Shovan, and Padma Venkatraman.  We’ll gather words and inspiration from other poets to craft our own visions of the world, and use poetic exercises to spark and harness creativity. Let’s talk about form and the raw beauty of poetic expression. Let’s embrace poetry’s unique ability to act as a springboard for creativity.

Sessions will be webinar-style with a mini-lecture, readings, and guest conversations. Community participation will occur via writing exercises and Q&A.


  • You’re a poet looking for community and inspiration with fellow creators.
  • You’re not (or not yet?) a poet, but are looking for new ways to build creativity. This can include authors, illustrators, and storytellers of any type. The sessions are about harnessing the creativity that poetry can inspire.
  • You’re looking for something short, sweet, and smart! This is not a full workshop, instead the two 75-minute sessions are meant to engage and spark your curiosity of the written word.


This session takes place over 2 evenings, with live webinar sessions starting at 7:00pm Eastern.

A writing exercise will be provided on the evening of May 18th. It would be ideal if you could complete it before the session begins on May 19th to fully engage in the discussion and Q&A; however it is not required.

Note: If your schedule does not allow you to attend live sessions, that’s OK! You’ll have access to the recordings. They’re usually posted the day after the session, and they’ll be available through June 30, 2021.

Tentative AGENDA:

Part One: Tuesday, May 18 (7pm-8:15pm EST)

  • Welcome, The Highlights Foundation
  • Opening remarks, Padma Venkatraman
  • Crafting Poetry mini lecture with exercises from Laura Shovan
  • Poets in Conversation: Laura Shovan & Padma Venkatraman
  • Writing Exercise to do independently
  • Closing


Part Two: Wednesday, May 19 (7pm-8:15pm EST)

  • Discussion of Writing Exercise Discoveries
  • Crafting Voice and Style to Inspire with Aida Salazar
  • Writing Together, writing exercise: Find the Spark
  • Poets in Conversation: Aida Salazar & Padma Venkatraman
  • Q & A and Closings


To spark imagination in children and to bring their minds to new places, we must first do the same for ourselves. These sessions will help you tap into new avenues of creativity through poetry, inspiring new or revitalized ways to tell stories for children.


Highlights Foundation Resources for workshops and FAQ’s:


Verse Novels: A String of Emotional Moments
#HFGather: A Poetry Chat with Nikki Grimes and Sarah Aronson
#HFGather Writer Chat with Padma Venkatraman and Sarah Aronson


Padma Venkatraman
Padma Venkatraman is the author of THE BRIDGE HOME which has garnered 8 stars, and has been honored as one…
Learn more about Padma Venkatraman
Aida Salazar
Aida Salazar is an award-winning author, arts activist, and translator whose writings for adults and children explore issues of identity…
Learn more about Aida Salazar
Laura Shovan
Laura Shovan is a children’s author, educator, editor, and Pushcart Prize-nominated poet. Laura’s debut novel-in-verse, THE LAST FIFTH GRADE OF…
Learn more about Laura Shovan