ELK RAPIDS — Stone Circle founder and poet Terry Wooten will receive the 2013 State History Award for Educational Programs later this month for his popular Elders Project.
The project uses oral history interviews to create poetry based on the stories and lives of elders in area communities. Middle school and high school students interview elders and transcribe the electronic recording verbatim. Wooten then edits and translates it into poetic verse while retaining the storytellers’ unique voice.
From these poems students then can publish a book or weave the poetry into “A Spoon River Anthology” style reading/performance for their school or community.
Wooten has conducted Elder Projects in Kingsley (2006) Elk Rapids (2007-2010), Brethren (2011), and Kalkaska (2012).
Books based on the technique include: "Lifelines: A World War II Story of Jack and Leda Miller,(2004), "Child of War” (2007), “A Book of Hours” (2009) and “Water Under the Bridge” (2011).
The Antrim County poet has been a monthly Record-Eagle columnist since 2010.
The Stone Circle celebrated its 30th anniversary this summer.
Wooten will receive his award on Sept. 27, at the Historical Society of Michigan’s annual state history conference in Kalamazoo.