July 31, 2011

Jax Youth Poetry Slam

Jax Youth Poetry Slam
Hosted by Taryn Wharwood
Main Library Downtown Jacksonville, Florida

The lyrical stimulation of the senses combined with the auditory manipulation of the English language was demonstrated at the Jax Youth Poetry Slam held at the Jacksonville Public Library.

Poetry is defined by different words, by feelings, by thoughts and in some cases by actions. The Poetry Slam performed by young people from 11 to 18yrs was emotionally filled and mentally stimulating. A unique definition of poetry is stated by Dylan Thomas, "Poetry is what makes me
laugh or cry or yawn, what makes my toenails twinkle, what makes me want to do this or that or nothing." Poetry does different things to different people just as Spoken Word does, it is dependent on the individuals modes, background, sensibilities and empirical understanding and interpretation of their world.

Support of young people and their talents is paramount to their success in life no matter what direction they take. To help them feel Aweshum (awesome) as S.J. (Andrew Robinson Elementary) student likes to say enthusiastically. I have been corrected several times that I should say Aweshum this exudes excitement, astonishment and jubilation. Young people need the support of adults in their lives to promote positive decisions, establish Aweshum goals and have high expectations for success.

Our young people have hidden talents that are expressed through poetry (spoken and written), written story telling, spoken word, Mime dancing and even rapping. The emotional expressions displayed through heart filled words, mental manipulation of the English language laden with
past experiences and emotional expressions both good and bad, thus leaving a residue that is embedded in those that listen to the display of talents. Spirituality plays a role as well in poetry because poetry does not just come from the mind it comes from the heart. Involving a spiritual
connection does not always mean a religious involvement, but “deepest values and meanings by which a person lives” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spirituality).

In these young performers that are students in DCPS schools are the next Zora Neale Hurston, Langston Hughes, James Weldon Johnson or Paul Laurence Dunbar and others. These young talents display the lyrical vernacular skills of great speakers that exhibit the linguistic passions
like Malcolm X or even Phillis Wheatley. These young people from middle to high school are creators, developers, expressionists of their poetic talents and their positive contributions to their communities. The Jax Youth Poetry Slam is a venue to birth new talent, uplift and inspires youth.

To help youth explore their lyrical talents that may (take them to vibrant travels around the world sharing their artistic crafts. Anyis an upcoming 6th grader expressed the Poetry Slam was fun and entertaining.

She stated that more kids need to participate and get over their shyness. The Slam allows kids to tell people what they are involved in, how they feel and for adults to listen to them more, because sometimes kids feel their parents and even teachers do not take the time to listen to them.

S.J an upcoming 5th grader at Andrew Robinson Elementary says the poets were Aweshum (awesome), spectacular and amazed him by their talents, poise and confidence. The public library has other Aweshum events that tweens, teens and young adults should participate in. There is more going on in Jacksonville, Florida for our young people that many parents do not realize, the first place to start is at the public library where many events are free, educational, culturally enriching and enhancing the talents of our young people.

Stay informed of more opportunities for young people to show their talents.

Check out these sites about Poets:
Afro Poets
Famous Poets and Poems

Events and Resources for families and youth:
Jacksonville Public Library - http://jpl.coj.net/
Jacksonville Public Library for Kids - http://jpl.coj.net/kids/
Ritz Theatre of Jacksonville - http://www.ritzjacksonville.com/
Check out the Ritz Voices Chorus Auditions - http://www.ritzjacksonville.com/programs/ritz-voices/
MOCA - http://mocajacksonville.org/
Cummer Museum - http://www.cummer.org/
MOSH - http://www.themosh.org/home.htm
By Anyis (6th Grader), S. J (5th Grader), William Jackson, M.Ed

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