Thursday, May 26, 2011

Dorthea Lange Creative Writing Prompts

"Cheap Auto Camp Housing for Citrus Workers"
By Dorothea Lange, Tulare County, California, February 1940
National Archives and Records Administration, Records of the Bureau of Agricultural Economics
(83-G-41555) [VENDOR # 85]

Dorthea Lange was born on this day in 1895 in Hobokon, New Jersey.  Dorthea worked for the government and many of her photos, including those above, are in the public domain.  She captured many scenes of American hardships.  The Writer's Almanac has a nice article about her today and you can read it here. 

If you believe there is a thousand words per picture, then I say with Dorthea's work, you can find at least 2,000.  Today, I ask you to free-write from one of these pictures for at least 5 minutes without stopping.

Here is a quote from Dorthea Lange:  

"You know, so often it's just sticking around and being there, remaining there, not swooping out in a cloud of dust: sitting down on the ground with people, letting children look at your camera with their dirty, grimy little hands, and putting their fingers on the lens, and you just let them, because you know that if you will behave in a generous manner, you are apt to receive it, you know?

Poetry Writing:  Write a poem with the theme of generosity

Fiction Writing Practice:  Write a paragraph about one of the characters in one of the photos.  What is the characters name?  What does your character need?  What does your character enjoy?  What does the character want?


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