Becca holds an MFA in creative writing and has been teaching poetry to people of all ages for almost 20 years. She has taught in schools and other community venues around the world and is a roster artist for COMPAS, the largest arts education roster in Minnesota. Becca’s teaching emphasizes experimentation with the medium of poetic language itself, and invention rather than the poet’s individual self expression. She asks students to investigate different approaches to making poems: from rigorous exploration of a single word to experimentation with different patterns and configurations of words and verbal expressions that can open up new associations and opportunities to make meaning. Her approach to teaching is innovative, rigorous, and open; she approaches all students as fellow artists and works with them to learn the techniques and concepts that allow them to apply their aesthetic to make original, interesting, non-formulaic art and poetry.
You can book her and Nick Jaffe for performance and teaching in poetry and music through COMPAS. They work in all kinds of settings including schools, senior centers, outdoor events, and more.
Becca is also available to teach private poetry and writing lessons, rates negotiable–just email her at beccabarniskis [at] gmail.com
Read an article Becca wrote for the Teaching Artist Journal about teaching social justice art.
Video of Becca teaching via videoconference some middle school students in South Korea: