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Meet the 2017 Scribes Instructors: Scribes at The Henry

Posted Mon, 2/27/2017 - 1:00pm by  |  Category: , ,

Over the coming weeks, we’ll be highlighting our Scribes instructors to learn more about their literary style and what they have in store for the next batch of young writers at our two-week immersive writing camps for teens. For more information on the camps and to register, visit the Scribes page.

We’re so excited to expand our Scribes teen writing camps to The Henry art gallery this year, offering two sessions for middle- and high-school students. Scribes will write and work among the many exhibits at the gallery, including a series of cosmic drawings by New York-based artist Summer Wheat; an exhibition of silkscreen prints by Jacob Lawrence in honor of the centennial of his birth; and the first major retrospective of artist Doris Totten Chase, including drawings, sculptures, and videos.

Returning Scribes instructor Emily Bedard calls The Henry “a field-trip land of riches.” Emily will be co-teaching the first session of Scribes at The Henry—open to middle-school students—alongside Erich Schweikher. Although it’s been nine years since he’s walked through its galleries, Erich remembers The Henry as “an incredible and inspiring place.”

I love the interaction between language and the visual world, and I am excited to see how middle-school students will articulate the connections,” Schweikher writes.

Poet and professor Jane Wong and fiction writer and beloved Hugo House instructor Ramon Isao will co-teach the second session of Scribes at The Henry, which is open to both middle- and high-school students. Jane and Ramon are both returning Scribes instructors and, while they’re just as excited as we are about being at The Henry this year, they also had a lot to say about Scribes in general.

Jane looks forward to “creating a strong community of writers and watching us all grow together! Also looking forward to writing like crazy, our guest speakers, our inspiring field trips, and our final Scribes reading—it always makes me cry! And laugh! And cry again!

“I mean, all [those exhibitions are] great, don’t get me wrong, and I’m psyched to see what The Henry will inspire,” writes Ramon, “But I can’t stop thinking of how inspired I’ll be by my students and what they create. Where they create is less of a concern. I see it as an incredible surprise.”

Get to know more about all four Scribes at The Henry instructors below!


Scribes at The Henry Session I

Erich Schweikher

Quick! Favorite word, right now: Facts

A book or writer you wish you’d known about when you were 15: 95 Poems, E.E. Cummings

I knew I was going to be a writer when: My undergraduate advisor and poet, Lisa Fishman, asked me, “You really don’t want to be an archeologist? [Pause] Do you?”


Emily Bedard

Quick! Favorite word, right now: Funicular

A book or writer you wish you’d known about when you were 15: Anthony Doerr’s All the Light We Cannot See. Language so gorgeous and emotions so complicated I could practically live inside that book.

I knew I was going to be a writer when: I started writing poems in my sleep.

Describe Scribes in five words: Word-powered rocketship of awesome.


Scribes at The Henry Session II

Jane Wong

Quick! Favorite word, right now: Archipelago

A book or writer you wish you’d known about when you were 15: I wish the graphic novel American Born Chinese by Gene Yang [had been] around! It would have helped during that horrible identity crisis I was having, and continued to have! I teach this also in my college classes.

I knew I was going to be a writer when: I got caught “passing notes” in my 5th grade class. They were stories I passed out to my friends. Like chapters about an evil bus driver. My teacher gave me detention, but then she read the notes and told me to write more!

Describe Scribes in five words: Goofy, risky, intense, hungry, and weird.


Ramon IsaoRamon Isao

Quick! Favorite word, right now: Ketchup

A book or writer you wish you’d known about when you were 15: My book-game came correct for the most part. I wish I’d had Scribes, honestly.

I knew I was going to be a writer when: I found out what a writer was. That the books I loved were made by human hands.

Describe Scribes in five words: Where writers feel less alone.