Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Poetry Club Goes Virtual

Amazing things happen when poetry takes the stage. Next Tuesday youth poets  I
Cypress Creek High Poetry Club Alum:
See these poets on YouTube but not live on Tuesday
coach will take the virtual stage via Google Hangout for our first ever Virtual Open Mic.

I'm a little nervous truth be told.

What if no one else signs up? What if it's just my poets, a group from St. Petersburg and Kwame Alexander? That would likely be fantastic. What am I worried about?

If you don't know Kwame Alexandar, you need to. An amazing speaker, and a down-to-earth member of the literati,  Nikki Giovanni calls him her "literary son." I made Kwame's acquaintance at a Summer Symposium sponsored by The English Teacher's Friend. I was there helping out with Slam Camp, an event for youth poets. Kwame was a keynote speaker. He talked about "saying yes." Say "yes" when the door of opportunity opens. Say yes and see. So many yeses he described to me.

When my students asked for open mic time and we couldn't find a local venue, I said yes. I said I would ask around (email and tweet) and see if anyone would like to join us virtually. I tweeted an inquiry. Kwame said yes in an instant. In less than a minute I had his yes. I did a little happy dance next to my desk (it was after school, so students did see me, but I'd do it again).

I tweeted the message and got his reply in the same minute it seemed. Impressed. Gary Anderson and Deb Day were on it, retweeting.  Thank you! More yes. Such support gave me quite the lift at the end of  last week.

We're taking to Google Hangout on Tuesday (October 22) after school from 2:30-3:30. I figure I'll run the open mic in my room just like my poets and I have seen it run in local venues. As poets arrive they will sign up on "the list" (a blank notepad) to reserve their spot on the microphone. We'll begin at 2:30 EST and take turns on the mic going around the virtual room for an hour. It's going to be awesome.

Give your poets an audience, join us on Tuesday, we'd love to hear what your students have to say.

Details and sign up here. 

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  1. What a brilliant idea!!! I'll add this to my long list of reasons why I think you're amazing. :)

  2. I was lucky enough to hear Kwame Alexander speak at KSRA a few years ago. He's incredible and inspiring (as you know).

  3. I'm going to see if I can check in and watch. This sounds so exciting. I'm impressed that your students love poetry this much!

  4. This sounds like an amazing opportunity for all the students! I look forward to reading about the experience.

  5. What a great idea! I can't wait to hear how it went.

  6. Totally intrigued by this! What a great idea! I'm going to show it to my middle school teachers tomorrow!

  7. It won't work with students, but I'll try to watch at least, Lee Ann. Great stuff you're doing!

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  9. What an exciting event. Don't worry at all - it sounds perfect. Can't wait to hear how it goes.