Spoken word poetry is having a moment. Poems addressing topics like mental illness, trauma, racism, and queerness are garnering millions of views on YouTube—starting discussions, representing marginalized voices, and demanding change. This is an exciting time of revitalization for poetry as an art form, and youth poets are at the very center, doing the most vital work. Facilitated by two poets with years of experience competing in slams on a national level, this two-part workshop will guide participants though generating poetry through prompts and journaling, editing poems in a supportive environment, and helping get students ready to perform their new pieces.
Part one: Writing workshop
Friday, October 19, 12 p.m.-1:30 p.m.
Part two: Editing and performance workshop
Saturday, October 20, 12 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Showcase: Poetry reading for friends and family of participants.
Saturday, October 20, 4 p.m.
Memorization not required or expected!
Catherine Weiss (they/them) is a poet born and raised in Blue Hill, Maine. Currently living in Western Massachusetts, they were the 2017 Grand Slam Champion and the 2018 WOWPS rep of Northampton Poetry. Their work has been published in Freezeray Poetry, Gravel Mag, Voicemail Poems, Jersey Devil Press, Drunk in a Midnight Choir, Buck Off Mag, Noble/Gas Quarterly, and elsewhere. Their favorite hobbies include crying (Cancer Sun), starting projects (Capricorn Moon), and complaining—usually in the form of memes and subtweets (Scorpio Rising). Catherine writes about stuff like mental illness, fatness, trauma, sexuality, and adolescence. Sometimes their poems are funny.
Jasmin Roberts (they/them) is a queer, truth-telling psychologist and poet born and raised in Brooklyn, NY. They are an alumnus of Oberlin College, and hold a graduate degree from UMass Amherst. Jasmin lives in the Pioneer Valley, where they are active in the queer youth community. Jasmin has led youth workshops on intersectionality and art as activism, and was the keynote speaker at the 2016 Western Massachusetts GLSEN conference. Jasmin competes in poetry slams at the national level, and placed 4th overall at the 2017 Women of the World Poetry Slam competition.
Jasmin not only prides themself on writing hard-hitting and introspective poetry that educates and offers commentary on current world issues, but also likes to remind us not to take ourselves too seriously. Jasmin will make you laugh your ass off AND question your place in the world in the span of three minutes, and they’ll do it all sporting 4-inch heels and coveralls, just to mess with your ingrained arbitrary sense of gender.
Jasmin’s pronouns are they/them, and yes, they realize that this is usually used in instances of plurality, but they also realize that you’ll live. Jasmin swears, you really will live. It’s ok.
Workshop is free, but registration is required. GSA students should speak to Libby Edwardson, school librarian, Harbor School students should speak to English teacher, Lee Lehto. Homeschooled teens should call Blue Hill Books at 374-5632.