A Canvas update:
This is Kyle/Guante. I’ve been working as the arts coordinator of The Canvas, a teen arts center in St. Paul, for a year now, and wanted to spread the word about some of our spoken-word-related programs. Even though our mission is to serve teens, it’s definitely okay for some college students and older folks to swing by and check this stuff out. Multi-generational learning spaces are the best.
Canvas Writing Circle: every Wednesday, from 4:30-6pm, I facilitate a writing circle for poets, rappers, songwriters and writers of all kinds. Bring a piece, share it and get some feedback from your peers. It’s very informal and fun. You can also learn a lot about your own art by critiquing others. This is a great opportunity to both get better as a writer and to build community.
“Speak On It” Teen Open Mic: our open mic is every last Thursday of the month, from 6-8:30pm. We get teens from all over St. Paul and beyond, and the work shared is incredibly diverse and sometimes kind of crazy. There’s not really anything else like it going on.
So if you are a teen, work with teens, or can pass for a teen (haha), check this stuff out. We’re also going to be having a poetry slam or two over the next few months. We just finished a four-day intensive spoken-word workshop and will probably do that again at some point in the future. We also just hosted the “Asian Amazicans” spoken-word open mic, as well as a couple of spoken-word-oriented senior projects from local high schoolers. Lots of fun things happening. The Canvas is located at 1610 Hubbard Ave. W., just across Snelling from Hamline University. Get more information at www.canvas651.com.
SAY WORD! Youth Slam League
MN’s State-wide Youth Poetry competitions aimed at inspiring Literacy, Leadership & Connection across Communities!
‘Putting MN Youth on the Map’
Inviting all Poet leaders, parents, teachers, community center counselors etc to pull together – or build a team and join us at the Say Word! Youth Slam League relaunch in April in celebration of National Poetry Month!
Youth 13-18. It could be a group you are either already working with or would like to work with and can pull together. Could be an after-school group, in school class, poetry club, literary group or circle, teen center, or just interested youth in writing a few poems in preparation for the big event.
Why: Say Word puts MN Youth on the Map! Developed over 6 years ago it ran for a couple years in schools-now we are relaunching a simplified & community based concept that encourages different communities of youth, poet leaders, and organizers to come together and build while inspiring good writing and performance. It also allows many youth to participate, get involved, and build skills while becoming more connected with the larger community.
Time to prepare:
There’s no big stress. There are no preliminary bouts or competitions …rather 2 months for your group to pull together 3-4 dynamic (2-3 minute poems of your choosing) We realize most groups already have this /but the time can be used to refine pieces and work on performance quality. Remember this is not just for poetry groups.
Judging generally will be on originality, substance (what is the poem saying and does it have weight), dynamic (performance, poise, level of practice and refinement). Depending on how many groups/teams sign up we will determine the number of rounds that teams will compete in. Generally speaking….all should prepare for 3 rounds (so 3 poems)- selections can be solo poems or group poems.
Can’t find a group?
If you are a youth that is interested but can’t find others in your area to formulate a group with ….or an adult interested in coaching a group but isn’t already working with one….email us and we can try connecting those of you in search of becoming a team. Particularly in areas where your youth-poetry community is newly forming.
We are hoping for 8-10 teams this year and would like to double that for next year. Teams should be
around 4-8 youth but can have larger numbers – keeping in mind that there will be 3-4 rounds (each team picks one poem to present per round).
What to Expect
Expect 1-2 days packed with exciting poetry & healthy competition…+ some spotlight workshops open to the public. One team will walk away the crowned 2011 champ!) Prizes and Recognition will be awarded!
Groups are open to present poems on any subject matter and youth are highly encouraged to
write and present pieces that represent them and their communities. This year’s theme is ‘The Road Less traveled’ and can be interpreted in any way. It is not a prerequisite to write to this but those interested -can. MNSWA’s Youth Amplified poets will open the event with a piece prepared to this theme.
We are confirming a location now and will post soon-we are hoping for Sat. April 1. There are no cost to teams…however those traveling from outside the Twin Cities will need to arrange your own transportation.
Just email sha.mnswa@gmail the following by Feb 15, 2011:
City, Group name, Group coaches names, Contact information, Number of youth.
Full Rules will be posted the first week of February at www.mnspokenword.wordpress.com
Sha Cage can answer other more direct questions and help groups solidify. firstname.lastname@example.org