In partnership with Georgia Public Broadcasting, VOX recently hosted “And Still I Rise” Teen Spoken Word Workshop & Poetry Slam in celebration of Dr. Maya Angelou’s legacy. VOX’s Atlanta Teen Voices Teen Editor, Christian Stallworth, shares her experience from the day.
And Still I Rise
The And Still I Rise event was a combination of three different workshops for teens, led by professionals, about poetry and self-expression. The poetry slam occurred after the workshops as a way to give teens a platform to speak their inner truths.
Although I was only helping with check-in, I could tell the teens were excited to learn and engage. They patiently waited to be taken back to one of the rooms where the workshops were happening. When it was time to sign-up for the poetry slam, the line was filled with more than 20 teens anxious to take the opportunity. At this moment, I realized teens are not usually allowed a chance like this and that when given this chance, they jump at the privilege.
VOX is a publication like no other, and teens coming up to me asking me about VOX at the event reinforced this idea. They were so surprised that teens at VOX got this privilege all the time. I was glad to be there, because I saw even the youngest teens were battling vigorously in the poetry slam. Their poems were just as advanced and heartfelt as the older, more experienced poets.
I was happy to see all the teens identify with each other in their poems, see themselves as equals and be so encouraging and supportive. Events like this give teens an outlet. Not only does it provide a rare opportunity for teens to perform in front of other teens and adults, but also it provides a safe, supportive environment for growth and open ears.
This video was filmed by Mikael Trench, 18, and Holyn Thigpen, 16, and was edited by Mikael Trench in partnership with GPB Production Coordinator Alex Hanson.
Arts Not Ego Youth Poetry Slam
Atlanta Word Works hosts an annual city-wide youth poetry slam to select the 5-6 teens to represent Atlanta at the Brave New Voices International Youth Poetry Slam Festival. This year, Brave New Voices will be in the Bay Area July 19-22. The slam is broken into two events: preliminary round and final round. The preliminary round will take place Saturday, March 18. During the preliminary round we select 10 finalists to go on to the final round. The final round will take place at Vox-a-Palooza on Saturday, April 29. Email Sarah@voxatl.org with any questions.
To register for the Arts Not Ego Youth Poetry Slam Preliminaries, please register to attend or participate at http://bit.ly/ArtsNotEgoSlam.