Projections workshop

Brooke has moved to Charlotte, NC and is investigating adapting this workshop for the city of Charlotte. Stay tuned! In the meantime, Brooke can work individually with young writers, both in person and remotely. Contact Brooke at for additional questions.

“I project myself—also I return—I am with you, and know how it is.”

– from Walt Whitman’s “Crossing Brooklyn Ferry”


A Teen Poetry and Street Photography Workshop


Projections is a creative writing and digital photography workshop for students ages 13-18. Students will study, emulate, and workshop poems about New York City. Through diverse readings, they will extend the city’s literary history into contemporary contexts. Specific focus will be given to “Brooklyn Bridge” by Vladimir Mayakovsky, “The Bridge” by Derek Walcott, “The Staten Island Ferry” by Audre Lorde, and “Crossing Brooklyn Ferry” by Walt Whitman.

Students will also examine, critique, and learn from historic and contemporary photographs by Robert Frank, Garry Winogrand, Gordon Parks, Weegee, Berenice Abbott, Lee Miller, Vivian Maier, and Helen Levitt, among others. They will fieldtrip to and photo-document the Brooklyn Bridge and the Staten Island Ferry.

Projections invites students to evaluate the intersection of their identity, voice, and internal landscape with the identity, voice, and physical landscape of the city—and through this process of projection—to map their own cities.

Students’ writing and photographic work will be published in a class portfolio.


Brooke Shaffner will teach this workshop with a photographer (TBD).

Workshop Size:

Twelve spaces are available on a first-come-first-served basis.


We will decide as a class whether to travel to the Brooklyn Bridge and Staten Island Ferry together, or whether it’s easier to meet on location. Students from outside of New York City are welcome to take Projections, but are responsible for their travel arrangements.