Special Report!

So for the past eight years or so, I’ve worked for Young Chicago Authors‘ youth poetry festival, Louder Than A Bomb – five of those as the festival director.  This past year I’ve been doing different things, but my residency at TEAM Englewood with Hands on Stanzas has meant that I can still work with their students as they prepared for the LTAB competition.

Well the team has been doing really great in the competition, (which I take little credit for): they got second in their semifinal, poet Dallas Battle was in Individual Finals (top 12 out of 500 students), and the group poem they wrote about Rahm Emanuel was selected as the “Chuck D Lyrical Terrorist” recipient – meaning they will get to perform it at Finals in front of 2600 people at the Cadillac Palace.
In fact, the group poem was posted online this week and already has over 4,000 hits.  It’s been getting really great press, and very positive reponses.  I’m really proud of the work the slam team has put in, and I’m honored to work with TEAM’s coaches and alumni community to prepare these students for a future that this city makes harder for them to succeed in.  They deserve to be the voices of frustration for the city, and in so, have some of that frustration relieved.
In conclusion, YAY!



“Writing poetry makes me feel like I can see myself, like I can see my reflection, but not in a mirror, in the world. I write and I know I can be reflected.”
-Oscar S.

“Writing poetry makes me feel free.”
-Buenda D.

“Writing poetry is like your best friend.”
-Jessica M.