Tag Archives: recordings

The Sour Tortilla

15 Jun

First, there was the story by Badgerdog writer Michael, from Metz Elementary. About a tortilla. Who was sour. Who just wants to enjoy his life.

And then, there was Amy Butcher’s recording of “The Sour Tortilla,” which brings to life the voice, the lightness, the hopes of Michael’s tortilla, and that place where discarded things don’t ever have to be lonely: the dumpster.

The Sour Tortilla

People didn’t want to eat the sour tortilla because he is sour.

Now he’s lost in the desert. A buzzard is on his trail, and he doesn’t want to get eaten, so he runs. He used to be at a restaurant. But he was rotten, so they threw him in a dump in the middle of the desert.

He doesn’t want to be eaten by the buzzard—he wants to enjoy his life by being a sour tortilla in the dump with all the other lonely, sour tortillas from the restaurant. He won’t be lonely anymore. They’ll play with the toys people have thrown out.

Michael, Metz Elementary School

Bios

Amy Butcher is a recent graduate of the Nonfiction Writing Program at the University of Iowa and will join Colgate University this fall as the 2012–2013 Olive B. O’Connor fellow. She’s the managing editor for Defunct Magazine (Defunctmag.com) and her recent work has appeared or is forthcoming in the Indiana Review, the Colorado Review, Brevity, and Hobart, among others.

Michael was in Ms. Heimsath’s fourth grade classroom at Metz Elementary. The entire class participated in a year-long Badgerdog workshop lead by Cara Zimmer, which lead to the publication of the students’ poems and stories in our annual print anthology for elementary writers, Rise.

Badgerdog runs workshops in schools and in the community. To learn more about us, check out our website, or to contact us about in school programs or having your young writer join our Creative Writing Summer Camp, contact Cecily Sailer at cecily.sailer (at) badgerdog.org or (512) 538-1305, ext. 102. If you are a writer or artist and would like to participate in this series of responses to Austin’s youngest authors, contact Jess Stoner at jessica.wigent (at) badgerdog.org.

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The Stormtrooper's Satin

13 Jun

Today we continue our series of responses to Badgerdog writers’ poems and stories with “The Stormtrooper’s Satin,” by Zakary, a fourth grader at Metz Elementary. The tone of this poem, the darkness lurking, the conflict that ends in never going to the moon, is perfectly rendered in Amy Butcher’s recording.

The Stormtrooper’s Satin

The stormtrooper wears a satin dress and wants to be the man on the moon. He wants to know how it feels to be in space. But the problem is the government won’t let him be the man on the moon because the dress is so hideous. It’s purple and pink, and he’s kind of old (eighty-one) and wrinkly and very tall. The government tells him to take off the dress, and they’ll let him be the man on the moon. So he takes it off. But it grows back because it got so stuck to him because the dress thought he would look good in it. He gets so tired of it, he sets himself on fire. After the fire’s over, the dress finally comes off, but the stormtrooper’s dead! So there’s a funeral, and people, looking very curious, ask why he’s dead. They find out it’s because the government didn’t let him go to the moon.

Zakary, fourth grade,  Metz Elementary School

Bios

Zakary was in a Badgerdog workshop during the 2010–2011 school year at Metz Elementary.

Amy Butcher is a recent graduate of the Nonfiction Writing Program at the University of Iowa and will join Colgate University this fall as the 2012–2013 Olive B. O’Connor fellow. She’s the managing editor for Defunct Magazine and her recent work has appeared or is forthcoming in the Indiana Review, the Colorado Review, Brevity and Hobart, among others.

Bored Poem

11 Jun

“Bored Poem,” written by Nathaniel from Bluebonnet Trail Elementary in Manor ISD, is infamous.  In all the best ways.  When our Education Programs coordinator, Jess Stoner, sent it along to her writer-friends, they clamored at the opportunity to respond to it in a myriad of ways.  Today, we’re featuring an audio recording of Nathaniel’s poem by Eugene Cross, the award-winning fiction writer (and fan of tacos?).

Bored Poem

Taco taco taco taco taco taco
taco taco taco taco taco taco
taco taco taco taco taco taco
said the taco to the Devil Taco
from the Taco Bell that is by the Walmart
that is in a mall that is very boring
to lots of people. And I am the only one
in my family that cares. The place is very boring.
And I said to my family that they are boring
too, ’cus they never go outside. But Taco
just likes to stab all the other tacos,
especially the Devil Taco, because he’s gangster
and was always very mad, and standing there
bored out of his taco-mind, bored with his brother
with his burrito-breath and his nasty teeth,
and bored too with his own self, his t-shirt
you know the one with the air-brushed wolf on it.

Nathaniel, fourth grade, Bluebonnet Trail Elementary School

*This poem was also featured at The Good Men Project.

Bios

NATHANIEL is a fourth grader at Bluebonnet Trail Elementary School.

EUGENE CROSS is the author of the short story collection Fires of Our Choosing (our now from Dzanc). He was born and raised in Erie, Pennsylvania, and received an MFA from the University of Pittsburgh. His stories have appeared in Narrative magazine (which named him one of “20 Best New Writers” and his story “Harvesters” a “Top Five Story of 2009–2010”), American Short Fiction, Story Quarterly, TriQuarterly, and Callaloo, among other publications. His work was also listed among the 2010 Best American Short Stories’ 100 Distinguished Stories. He is the recipient of scholarships from the Chautauqua Writers’ Festival and the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, and the winner of the 2009 Dzanc Prize for Excellence in Literary Fiction and Community Service. He currently lives in Chicago where he teaches in the Fiction Department at Columbia College Chicago. You can find him online at www.eugenecross.com