Mr. Curtis Harris hats off to you and. Ms. Relle Benz and to all of the teen poets that participated, they truly “SpokeFiyah”. I think I saw smoke coming out of the mike a few times. I was mesmerized, revolutionized,baptized and moved to tears by these amazing, trailblazing young people. It takes a village ( old african proverb) and I was honored to bear witness to these fearless warrior Prince and Princess’ who bared their thoughts, feelings,trials and triumphs.Although I am the mother of one of the participants and very proud of her accomplishments,sitting in the audience “listening” too and “feeling” the poets love and pain, I felt like I was mother to all of them. Curtis Harris, Relle Benz, Press and all the other Green Poets Cafe staff/family I thank you for the encouragement, mentoring and love you are giving to “our” youth.
Poem In Your Pocket Facilitated by Green Earth Poets Café
Weeksville Heritage Center 1-2:30pmApril 18, 2015 Saturday
Green Earth Poets Café exists to promote literacy, self confidence, communication, community, and educational development among young people in economically challenged areas of NYC through performing arts. The workshop will be led by Brooklyn-based Spoken Word Poet, Quindell “Quev” Evans. Families can come and take part in the art of sharing poetry with the community.
Feb 21, 2015-Today at Rikers Island prison we were joined by 12 poets one of which was a prison guard (corrections officer Oliver) who delivered a Last Poets Poem. There was wonderful energy amongst the 30 or so incarcerated youth ages 16-21. The poetry today and interaction with the inmates was something that was never experienced since we have been going to the prison for almost a year now. Our program director Quindell Quev Evans designed a program of interaction and engagement with the youth which bought out the best in them and us. In addition to his awesome poetic talent, Quindell was amazing today. I cannot thank Quindell Evans enough. Please read his new book which can be found at his website: www.Bluepoettree.com. Among the many poets who were phenomenal today was the one and only Raymond Vasquez, who has been with us a few times at Rikers Island prison. Thank you Raymond for all you do. I can’t thank enough David The Werdsman Anthony for your brilliance and poetic power. The inmates always seem to enjoy David. Today we were joined by a number of new faces. Thank you to Allahsha Skipper aka Poetry Queen, this lady had these young inmates on the edge of their seats as she created a picture in their minds of things they will never forget. Her energy and charm was as powerful as her delivery and brilliance.We were also joined today by Lisa Gladden aka Datrooth I think very deeply. Upon meeting this lady I immediately loved her charm, humor, wit, intelligence, humility and wisdom. She dropped a lot of wisdom (motherly) wisdom on these young people today that was well received. Thank you Datrooth. You must come back. I want to thank Victoya Militant Venise for being a faithful sister in the struggle for helping to liberate the minds of these young people using poetry. Victoya you hold a special place in my heart you miltant. Today we were also joined by newcomers dymanic duo Adrian Elias who is one of the finest poets and performers I have seen (thank you for serving in the armed force sir), and his sister Pamela Elias aka Mela Elias who spoke to these young people with such love and compassion that they truly need. Mela is a social worker whose heart is in the right place, thank you for coming today Pamela. Today also we welcomed another newcomer to Rikers Island but not a new comer to poetry events, art and education. Thank you Mutiya S-Vision for your warmth, compassion and gift of poetry. You shared your story with these young men who understand we are all human. You left your mark on these young people which was very well received. Thank you Mutiya. I want to thank a few ole veterans now who have come with us a few times now. Tony Polanco-Bethancourt is a phenomenal poet/artist and author who shared a word of HOPE and it doesn’t matter where you are born you have the power to overcome any and all adversity. Thank Tony. Thank you to my brother Eternal Mastizo (hope I pronounced that correctly) aka Yhamir Chabur. You always bring something to these young people they will never forget. Lastly I wish to thank the corrections officers who made this day remarkable and pleasant who have a difficult job . Lastly thank you to Ms. Linda Eaddy Director of Community Partnerships at the NYC Department of Corrections for giving us the opportunity to love our young brothers, sons, and nephews. The women of Rikers Island prison need the same love and attention the guys get, hopefully we will be visiting the girls soon. We closed today’s poetry event with an old school cipher which was fun and entertaining. We will go back as long as they are there. Next the women of Rikers island.
Jan 24, 2015 -Saturday with reports of one to two inches of snow falling, Green Earth Poets Cafe’s “Our youth are slamming” and “TEEN Spoken Fiyah” youth poetry workshops had a phenomenal turnout. More than 35 youth ages 8-19, including a few parents and poet/mentors came to work with our youth to help them develop in reading, creative writing, public speaking, and spoken word poetry performance. Green Earth Poets Cafe holds these poetry youth workshops at the Brownsville Heritage House at 581 Mother Gaston Blvd, Brooklyn, NY 11213 ,(2nd floor of the Stone Ave public library) every two weeks. The next scheduled workshop is Feb 7, 2015 from 12:00 noon to 2:00pm.
Belissa Escobedo, Rhiannon McGavin, and Zariya Allen are three young women who are determined to change the world, one word at a time. They are part of the non-profit organization Get Lit, the leading non-profit presenter of literary performance, education, and teen poetry programs in Southern California. Get Lit uses the performance of classic and spoken word poetry to increase teen literacy and has allowed Belissa, Rhiannon and Zariya to deliver their own powerful, poetic message to the masses. They even delivered it to a sell-out crowd of over 17,000 at the Hollywood Bowl opening for John Legend — and are now perform “Somewhere in America” on The Queen Latifah Show.
Detroit schools are turning their students into published poets with a little guidance from professional writers and a program called InsideOut. Jeffrey Brown reflects with U.S. Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey about visiting the Motor City middle-schoolers and the “sense of power” she witnessed as they found their voices. click here for article
Kids — 12 and 13 years old — pour their guts onto paper in verse. They spend weeks furiously writing, revising, and coaching each other, and revising again. When they are done, they stand alone in front of their peers and recite poetry, using voice and gesture to bring their words to life.
This may sound like an English teacher’s pipe dream, but it is becoming a common experience in classrooms across the country. In lower-income neighborhoods in cities like New York and Chicago, students are competing with words and then settling in for discussions of metaphor, assonance, consonance, and allusion.
Slam poetry, a blend of literature and performance that culminates in live competitions called slams, is transforming these students from reluctant, shy, or diffident learners into passionate artists. It is helping teachers not just teach writing but also build confidence. For more information about “Our youth are slamming” literacy program and how this can be implemented in your school, please contact us via email or call: Curtis Harris, Executive Director at 516-670-4868.