Creative writing inspired by art


Every year, the museum partners with four local middle schools to encourage sixth-grade students who are interested in art and writing to visit the museum for creative writing classes taught by Nathan Brown.


Over the year, each of the 120 students and teachers will visit the museum two different times as part of this program, generously funded by the Harris Foundation. During these sessions, Nathan Brown teaches and encourages the students to look at the art and write about what they see.


Nathan Brown was selected as the Poet Laureate of Oklahoma for 2013-2014. He graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a PhD in creative and professional writing and he now teaches at the university.


Below are a few selections from this last year’s group. One of the best parts of reading works by these students is the honesty and raw quality to their work. These students have bared their souls in their writings, allowing the reader a quick glimpse into the mind of 11- and 12-year-olds.





Olivia, Alcott Middle School


A fox stumbles weakly over the barren landscape. She stops near a large mound of snow. She is too weak to get over it. She whines, surveying the impeccable whiteness that is her only home. She is looking for her kit. She has been looking for days and weeks. A wiser creature would have given up. There is always next year. She starts slightly when a cloud shifts, revealing a cold moon. That is the word to describe this place: cold. Cold ground, cold snow, cold moon, even the sky is cold. She starts walking again, trying to find a baby in this cold world that crushed all.


Inspired by Olive Rush, (1873-1966), U.S., The White Sands (with fox), c. 1925. Purchased with funds provided by the Jerome Westheimer, Sr., Family Foundation, Inc., 2006




The Boatyard

Maddie, Irving Middle School


During the day, the men

laugh away,

at the boatyard.


During the day, the children

will play

at the boatyard.


But no one will stay, when the

sun slips away,

at the boatyard


For the frights and the sights,

that come with dark nights,

are left, at the boatyard.


Inspired by Stuart Davis, (1894-1964). U.S., Waterfront, 1935, WPA Collection, 1942




Pond State of Mind

Maeve, Longfellow Middle School


Flowers on the flowing water.

wind blows them, they tilt

but not fall.


Ripples in the water.


Ripples in life


Flowers are joy

Some flowers hide behind vines.

but there are always

some in sight


Lily pads are feelings.

Rooted to the pond floor.

Always there.


Inspired by Roy Lichtenstein, (1923-1997), U.S., Water Lilies with Willows, 1992, Loan courtesy of Mrs. Sash Spencer




Emily, Whittier Middle School


Falling through the air

Let gravity take over

Like tears from Earth


Gone is spring,

Gone is summer.

Fall is conquering

Both, only to be

Conquered itself

By the icy hands

Of winter.

Colors bursting

from the dark,

filling the air

with beauty.


Inspired by Joseph Henry Sharp, (1859-1953), U.S., A Million Aspen Leaves, n.d., The Eugene B. Adkins Collection at Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art, the University of Oklahoma, Norman, Oklahoma and the Philbrook Museum of Art, Tulsa, Oklahoma




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s