With the end of classes and the beginning of summer nearly here, many of Oakland’s youth are preparing for lazy days in the sun, family vacations or the chance to earn an extra buck. But a group of Bay Area writers and educators are hoping poetry is what’s on the minds of Oakland’s youngsters.

The Oakland Youth Poetry Workshop is coming to The Bay Area Public School, a free school without curriculum or grades that promotes learning for learning’s sake at 2124 Broadway. The workshop is the brainchild of Zach Haber, a local poet and substitute teacher, who wanted to use his summer to share his passion for writing with Oaklanders ages 13 to 20.

“I wanted to put together a program with my friends,” Haber said. “I like the freedom of the school, and hope all the youth will be really into it if they come out on a Saturday in the summer to learn.”

Haber and five of his colleagues have designed a five-week workshop that will cover various aspects of poetry, from working as a collaborative group to writing from different perspectives and writing in response to other art forms. During the final session, students will have a chance to present their work, and they may have the opportunity to create a zine with their fellow classmates.

“I’m focusing on writing in voices that are outside your own personality,” he said. “Anything from you as a five- or six-year-old, to your mother, an animal, to a historical figure, or from where you don’t know where it’s coming from. When I see youth writing, it’s usually about their personal experience. That’s wonderful, but not all that writing is.”

Emji Spero, who will use the idea of wandering to teach their students about the playful side of editing, hopes the summer session can pick up some of the slack left by Oakland’s more traditional schools.

“A lot of the creative arts are being lost at the public schools,” Spero said. “We wanted to keep that alive even if the schools weren’t able to do it.”

The Public School began in 2007 in the basement of the Telic Arts Exchange in Los Angeles. Now in its sixth year, the school has 13 campuses worldwide, including sites in Berlin, London, New York and San Juan.

The school is fairly structureless. “Go online and propose a workshop,” Spero said. “If enough people sign up, then it happens.” Classes for this week range from Latin and Sanskrit for beginners, to Hegel’s Science of Logic, to a Queer Feminist reading group.

“The class is going to be pretty collaborative,” Haber said. “Kind of informally discussing the writing we brought in, discussion about what they’re writing and we’re writing, a lot of work in class. It’s going to be pretty action-oriented.”

But with the poetry workshop beginning June 22, spaces are still available, and Spero and Haber are still trying to attract youth.

“We’re giving them tools and having them write in a way they may not think to otherwise,” Haber said. “If we can get one student to be very passionate about poetry and writing it would be worth it. And to learn from them as much as they will learn from us.”

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