About Qui Vive!
The Center for Writing, Book Arts, & Performance
Arcadia University’s Qui Vive! The Center for Writing, Book Arts, and Performance was created in 2002 as the Young Writers Project. Originally developed as creative writing groups at Kensington and Edison High Schools in North Philadelphia, Qui Vive! has expanded to offer 10 different after school writing programs for middle and secondary school students, each ending in public readings and professionally-bound anthologies.
Qui Vive! Co-Founders/Directors
Leif Gustavson, Ph.D, is an Associate Professor of Education at Arcadia University and has been writing with youth for more than 16 years. Gustavson’s first book, Youth Learning on Their Own Terms, was published by Routledge in 2007.
Tyler Doherty was born in Toronto , Canada and lives in Philadelphia. His first book — Bodhidharma Never Came to Hatboro — was published by Bootstrap Press and he is the editor of For the Time-Being: The Bootstrap Book of Poetic Journals. Doherty teaches in the English Dept at Arcadia University and as a co-founder of Qui Vive!
What Students are Saying about Qui Vive!
• "Over the past seven years I have participated in fourteen poetry workshops and have explored a variety of poetry styles. Leif and Tyler could not have been better teachers and mentors. This program provides such an important service to myself and many others. It allows us to create art and have it viewed as such. The culmination of the workshops in public readings further this feeling. I can be seen as an artist and have my work heard. In most school environments a poem is simply another grade to be judged by a rubric. In a Qui Vive poetry workshop you are viewed as an artist and your work is treated as such. Needless to say, this is quite empowering. On top of the empowerment I feel working in this workshop, I have the opportunity to seriously hone my craft. As someone who loves to write, I have always felt that poetry in a high school setting is not enough. Qui Vive quite simply gets me through the week. I have it to look forward to each Monday and Wednesday afternoon and it is really a freeing experience. Qui Vive has taken me through my junior high and high school career. It probably has kept me sane. I hope that more young people can have the opportunity that I have had. Qui Vive is one of the most important aspects of my life. It is an amazing program. It has helped me grow as a writer and a person. I am so thankful to have it as part of me." — Nick Dekker
• “My writing has changed a lot…[the workshop has] been helping me write better on my reports for English class”“One of the writings I have done in the workshop is Ekphrasis [writing to art]. I feel good about this particular one because it allowed me to express how I felt and show detail about the painting.”
• “You guided us in the right direction but weren’t ‘dictators.’ You gave us enough freedom in our writing with little restrictions.”
• “I learned that thinking way outside of the box is good. You learn to use a different part of your mind that for the most part is not used every day. There are so many aspects and approaches of writing we can take to release our inner-selves.”
• “It was like learning to share again. I learned how to share. I learned that writing can be a group experience.”
Some of the workshops we’ve offered include:
Writing Nature in the City: What is nature? Are we 'in' nature or 'of' it? What role does 'place' play in writing, and how can we use writing to arrive at a deeper sense of where we live?
Going on Our Nerve: The Poetry of the New York School What’s it like to “go on your nerve” with practiced abandon while digging into the work of poets like Frank O’Hara, Barbara Guest, John Ashbery, Kenneth, Koch, James Schuyler, Amiri Baraka, Bernadette Mayer, Ron Padgett and Ted Berrigan.
36 Ways to Tell a Story: How many ways can you tell a story? You’d be surprised. Shun old ways to tell the same story, and dig deeper to find the newness of every version.
Flash Fiction: The Short Short Story: The short short story is traditionally 150 to 400 words and places particular emphasis on non-linear and surprising styles of narrative. These stories are meant to disturb and challenge traditional notions of storytelling.
***All Qui Vive! Photos Courtesy of Dave Tavani Freelance Photography***