Friday, March 14, 2014

You Gotta Write! A'ight? at Hill Central New Haven with Attallah Sheppard @writingproject

Today, with an invitation from administrators at Hill Central Academy and in collaboration with National Writing Project SEED High Need funding, Diva Attallah Sheppard and I will recreate a third variation of the Writing Our Lives movement in Connecticut (with a SHOUT OUT to Dr. Marcelle Haddix at Syracuse University and all the NWP Peeps who appreciate the power of student and teacher writers).

We have collaborated with Performing For Change for spoken-word excellence and performance and are the official kick-off for Hill Central's 3rd Spoken Word Slam to be hosted in April. Today will be a bonus celebration of what is possible with dreaming, professional development, support, talent, and tapping into the energy of young people.

Here's my culminating poem I created through the activity Attallah Sheppard and I will co-host tomorrow!

You Gotta Write, A'ight?

I come to you with sunbeams, 
and the screams of middle school medication,
             new literature regimes without the hesitation,                       
reservation, or limitation that comes with fear.                                                    

I come to you with extremes,
      black licorice laced with Hill Central themes 
            (and a fear) of language 
    and the tears from drawing….
see-sawing along Connecticut streams 
that every word warrior knows.

We are creativity,
 —-the  story that cinematically
 seeks character development 
        —-the theme of the universe within crafty crevices 
 of Kryptonite and the 
                            Woot Woot! 
                  of living a crazy-Krunk, spunky life. 

We must become our words,
rebirth ourselves from dusty libraries 
be the scratch and sniff stickers 
that provide a voice
for the love notes we’ve yet to write: 
a call from a mom,
waking up from dreams 
hearing what needs to be said 
                (again and again).
-consulting the dictionaries of advice 
and trusting what lies within
         while ignoring the lies we're told.

Who are we, but bold, the magic of humanity-
The hocus pocus of a poetic parade creating a chaos 
from frustrated fireworks,
screaming, running, hating, loving,
warring, worrying, wondering
crackling and popping 
to tell our stories and to offer a few jokes.
We are the silence of the rabbit exiting the hat, 
the ones who scream out we have something to say.

And so young people write once again,
     this entourage in agony to make a difference,
       this team of classy teens grouped together to articulate a purpose in life.

Here’s to them in 2014, 
and the activities of this troupe,
that pushes the posse forward with a purpose, 
that embraces the possibilities of tomorrow
and fights against the complex simplicities 
of where we’ve been and where we’ve yet to go.

~Bryan Ripley Crandall

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