About GNOWP

For 35 years, the Greater New Orleans Writing Project at the University of New Orleans has been a site of the National Writing Project, an organization dedicated to improving writing and the teaching of writing throughout the Greater New Orleans area and the nation. We achieve our goals through teacher collaboration, inquiry into best practices, and support of teacher-writers and student-writers in New Orleans area classrooms.
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April 17 & 18, 2015
9am-6:30pm
2000 Lakeshore Drive, New Orleans, LA 70148

WriteFest presents: The 2015 NWP Urban Sites Network Conference

Join us in New Orleans for the 2015 National Writing Project Urban Sites Conference, presented by WriteFest and The Greater New Orleans Writing Project! We will explore ways to empower urban students through writing pedagogy, with a focus on the educational climate in New Orleans and on student publishing. On Friday, the event will feature Read More

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GNOWP BLOG

Our First Write@UNO Workshop!

Sarah DeBacher | October 21, 2014

Our first Write@UNO workshop of the year was a huge success! We hosted fifteen young writers from schools around New Orleans for a day of tutoring and craft classes. Andy Young hosted our poetry class, in which students were asked to write praise poems in the style of Kevin Young’s “Ode to the Hotel Near Read More

Creativity

On Creativity

Sarah DeBacher | October 21, 2013

This entry comes to us from GNOWP allstar Ari Zeiger. Ari attended the Summer Institute in 2012, co-facilitated it in 2013, and teaches writing (brilliantly!) at Delgado Community College. ### In this short video, Sir Ken Robinson discourses on a range of subjects (from creativity to education to imagination). At last count, I’ve watched the Read More

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May There Be Pens, May There Be Paper

Sarah DeBacher | May 21, 2013

“Writing is both a challenge and an extreme exigency—that is, it is both called forth by and constitutes the trauma. But writing both exceeds and is inadequate to the task; it is both unavoidable and impossible.”— Peter and Maureen Daly Goggin, Trauma and the Teaching of Writing (2005).

In my attic there is box containing hundreds of magnets I collected from curb-side refrigerators after Hurricane Katrina. I’d been fortunate enough to have a home to return to, but when I was allowed to return to New Orleans in October of 2005, the city was virtually unrecognizable. The visual landscape was so disrupted, so disruptive, that it made its way into horrifying underwater nightmares I couldn’t shake. Even when I dreamt lucidly, I was unable to wake myself, my subconscious seemingly aware that the waking-world would provide no comfort. What on earth was this? How on earth could this have happened? I spent my days in a kind of stupor, and yet the collection of refrigerator magnets and documentation of their sites gave me a kind of purpose. I had no idea what I would do with the magnets. I still don’t. I just needed to do something.

School began. I got busy with the work of teaching—an immense comfort and immense burden, both. My classes took place online, but internet connectivity was spotty, at best. Regular power outages plunged us into darkness and we shuffled out onto stoops to visit with others who’d returned, to share stories about how we’d “made out in the storm.”

My students had it much worse than I did. Before that semester began, I’d grown accustomed to the usual range of excuses for late work: dead grandmothers (so many dead grandmothers!), flat tires, printers without ink, etc. But this semester the excuses punched me in the gut. “I lost my job, my home, everything. Can I please have an extension on Essay 2?” Yes. Yes! I remember feeling like my every teacherly choice that semester was Really Effing Important. What would I assign? How could I respond ethically and empathetically to students whose lives had been—like mine—upended entirely? (I wrote about the experience of teaching after Hurricane Katrina in an article that appeared in Reflections in 2007.)

Today I’ve been thinking about the texts I produced in the immediate aftermath of Katrina (although I’ve learned that a more accurate way of putting it is “in the aftermath of the failure of the federal levees.) I’ve been thinking about that box of magnets and the blogging I did and the writing I assigned, and the emails I sent, and how my words helped me heal but also plunged me right back into the depths of despair, too.

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Greater New Orleans Writing Project

"What I wanted her to know is: People have been in pain before, struggled to find hope, and look what they’ve done with it. They made poetry that landed right in your shoe, the same shoe you didn’t wear for four months because of your despair."

Bringing a Daughter Back From the Brink With Poems

nytimes.com

A mother’s project helps remind her teenager that life is worth living.

Mar 2nd 11:32am • 1 Comment

Volunteer with Big Class! If you are a University of New Orleans English major or Creative Writing Workshop MFA candidate, you can also intern with Big Class for course credit.

Big Class

Big Class volunteer Julia Lavigne illustrates a VERY IMPORTANT question that came up during a Big Class in-school project. Answer important questions like these as a Big Class volunteer! Our next orientation is March 4. Sign up at bigclass.org/get-involved.

Feb 25th 9:46am • No Comments

We are extending our $75 Early Bird Special to March 15! Don't miss your chance to register for WriteFest 2015!

WriteFest Presents the 2015 NWP Urban Sites Conference: Students Write Their Cities

eventbrite.com

Join us in New Orleans for the 2015 National Writing Project Urban Sites Conference, presented by WriteFest and The Greater New Orleans Writing Project! We will explore ways to empower urban students through writing pedagogy, with a focus on the educational climate in New Orleans and on student publ…

Feb 20th 1:07pm • 2 Comments

Greater New Orleans Writing Project shared a link.

David Carr’s Last Word on Journalism, Aimed at Students

nytimes.com

Mr. Carr, who died Thursday, was a funny, demanding, optimistic teacher of reporters-to-be at Boston University, and his syllabus distills his sense of an unfolding digital age. Excerpts here serve as the final Media Equation under his byline.

Feb 16th 8:31am • No Comments