NWD Projects Presents National Water Dance Poetry Exchange

  • NWD Projects celebrates the work of O, Miami and their annual Poetry Festival every April. Read below for a reflection on the National Water Dance poetry exchange, written by poet Laurel Nakanishi.


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    Young people in Honolulu, Hawai'i and Miami, Florida are taking part in a transpacific, cross-country poetry exchange through National Water Dance. Students from Conchita Espinoza and Morningside Heights in Miami worked with professional writer, Dana DeGreff to write poems inspired by water.  They then sent these poems, along with notes and messages, half-way around the world to Honolulu.


    Here, students from Kaimuki High School, Maryknoll School and Holy Nativity School responded with the help of writer, Laurel Nakanishi.  What developed was a rich conversation and artistic exchange. Students connected over shared passions, poetry, and a recognition of the importance of water everywhere around the world.


    Some of the students' poetry will be featured on April 14th at the National Water Dance performance in Miami. Look for lines of poetry on flags that the dancers carry and on display inside the Biscayne Nature Center.


    And these cross-country exchanges? - they will continue via postcard, Instagram, and Snapchat.


    "We are all linked by water," says Laurel Nakanishi.  "It is an amazing experience to see our Hawai'i students connect with kids in Miami through this poetry exchange and shared reverence for water."


    Below is a photo of a poetry flag created by a young student in Hawai'i as a part of the poetry exchange.