Dates: Thursdays, 6/24 -7/22
Time: 1-3PM HST
Required text: Angel and Hannah by Ishle Yi Park
Open to girls entering grades 9 and 10 (ages 14-15)
Explore William Shakespeare’s play Romeo and Juliet as reimagined through the ages. Learn about the significance of this age-old story, understand key scenes and characters, explore poetry writing and narrative. You will be introduced to the various versions of this play as seen onscreen and on the page, most recently with instructor and author Ishle Yi Park’s very own reimagined version of Romeo and Juliet Angel and Hannah (Random House) , a sweeping, unforgettable story of an interracial couple in 1990s New York City who are determined to protect their love against all odds. This class will combine both literature and creative writing.
Ishle Yi Park is the first woman Poet Laureate of Queens. Her novel~in~verse, Angel & Hannah, published by One World Press in May 2021, is a modern day remix on Romeo & Juliet & is a meditation on girlhood, first love, immigration, and violence. She is also a 2021 Na Hoku Nominee for Female Vocalist of the Year, Album of the Year, and Song of the Year in Hawaii. She was Artist in Residence at Youth Speaks and has been a writing workshop teacher for over 15 years. Ishle also enjoys gardening, surfing, dancing hula, and being a mama.
Publisher’s Weekly Review: “Poet Park (The Temperature of This Water) reimagines Romeo & Juliet in her wrenching debut novel in verse, set in early 1990s New York City. The story follows two 16-year-olds: Queens girl Hannah, the daughter of Korean immigrants and a straight-A student who spends her nights defending her mother from Hannah’s father’s physical abuse, and Angel, a boy of Puerto Rican descent who lives in Brooklyn and dreams of becoming a pilot…Park’s precise, vivid verse lends a unifying consistency, blending vernacular and poetic expressions and song lyrics (“He sighs & sings a Nas lyric—like a blue smoke ~ ring, it halos the air”) as she explores how the complicated natures of love, betrayal, poverty, and cultural identity affect Angel and Hannah’s relationship. Readers will find this tender and realistic portrait of first love hard to forget.”