If you haven’t been to the site of the Favorite Poem Project, brew yourself a cup of coffee and sit down for a spell – “for a spell” meaning both a magical communion with language and, in Southern lingo, duration. This is a site for poetry lovers and for those who haven’t thought about poetry since high school. It’s a place to fall in love again, a place to listen to people reciting and talking about their favorite poems.
Poetry in Massachusetts has what seems to be the early signs of becoming an “in” thing with teenagers. The evidence is anecdotal but specific poetry events for high school students are being enthusiastically received. Not only is the Student Day of Poetry, sponsored by Mass Poetry, growing in numbers and excitement each year, but so are other programs, such as Poetry Out Loud, sponsored locally by the Huntington Theater. Last year’s SDOP generated the enthusiasm of a pep rally as did a recent POL event at Groton-Dunstable Regional High School where friends were applauding and shouting from the audience to their poetry-reciting pals.
Sam Cha: featured at this year’s SDOP
The year’s SDOP, which will be held at UMass Boston on March 21, is set to continue the trend. (Teachers, register here to bring your classes.) This week we begin a series on the poets who will take their poems to the stage, stirring a passion in the lucky students who get to attend the event. One of those agents of enthusiasm is this week’s SDOP feature poet Sam Cha. [Read more...]
Are you a Massachusetts high school student? Are you a Massachusetts high school teacher? Do you know a Massachusetts high school student or teacher? Then get the word out about an exciting poetry contest students can enter.
When was the last time you burst from your seat with a whoop and holler because polite applause was just not enough? Don’t think Red Sox or Patriots, think poetry. Think Louder than a Bomb (LTAB), the Massachusetts youth poetry festival – an event that lived up to its name May 23rd! In an audience made up of people representing birth years from the 1920s to the late 1990s, the energy was uniform. If you were at the Boston University Theatre for the finals of the festival competition, you were certainly one of those on your feet.
(Participants and masspoetry.org weren’t the only ones cheering on the young poets. See the Boston Globe article on the preliminary contest.)
Last year Mass LEAP, the youth programming arm of Mass Poetry, attracted 16 teams with over 100 young people participating in a poetry program called Louder than a Bomb (LTAB). This year the enthusiasm for the nascent program has almost doubled across the state, with 24 teams and close to 180 teens participating in free workshops, presentations and poetry slams.
Louder than a Bomb (LTAB) Massachusetts is a youth poetry program that can change lives. Those that work with the program make that claim because they have seen it happen to young people they’ve worked with. And some of them have felt that change in their own lives as they got involved in Chicago where the program began.
But the program needs your financial help now.
Here are the facts: This weekend (March 2 and 3) the regional contests for the Poetry Out Loud program will be held in Boston, Framingham, Springfield and South Yarmouth. The winners of the regional contests will meet the following weekend (March 10) to determine who will represent Massachusetts in the nation-wide contest, held in Washington, D.C. on April 29-30. The Massachusetts division of the contest is sponsored by the Poetry Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Huntington Theater, and the Massachusetts Cultural Council. [Read more...]