Tuesday, December 02, 2014

December Updates: BE HEARD Youth Poetry Slam, Free Workshops, Ferguson Follow-Ups and More

Some stuff that people who know me might want to know about:

1. The 2015 BE HEARD Youth Poetry Slam Series Schedule Announced!
A lot of my focus in 2015 is going to be on working with TruArtSpeaks, and our first big program of the year is a youth poetry slam series that seeks to identify six young artists to represent MN at Brave New Voices. If you're between 13 and 19 years old, and have some work you want to share, you can come to as many of the January prelims as you want. Top prelim poets move to semifinals, and then the finals are in March. Check out the full schedule here.

2. I'm Facilitating Some FREE Youth Spoken-Word Workshops
The first one was a lot of fun, and there are four more coming up, all free, spread around the Twin Cities. Whether you're a veteran youth slam poet trying to get ready for Be Heard, someone who wants to explore the art and work on their craft, or just someone with something to get off their chest, check 'em out. Dates, locations and times here.

3. Ferguson and Police Brutality Activism Follow-Up Points
There's a lot more I could say in this point, but I'm trying to be intentional about my role and my responsibilities and not get all think-piecey on you. A couple of primary points:
  • I updated my list of links, organizations and resources for people in the Twin Cities who may want to get involved in some way, shape, or form, with the work that is being done. No organization is perfect, and no resource solves the problem on its own, but this could be a useful start for people who want to move beyond what's been done.
  • MN Neighborhoods Organizing for Change (NOC) is a very cool organization, and they're hosting a public meeting on next steps regarding police brutality on Saturday, 12/6. Check the details here.
  • I could post a million articles and links, but I'll just share this one: Ta-Nehisi Coates makes the historical and contextual connections that need to be made to really understand what Ferguson means, and what happens next.
4. Final 2014 Shows
Quick note on a few shows coming up:
  • Friday, 12/5 at Boston University; 7pm in CAS 211.
  • Monday, 12/8: featuring at the University of Minnesota's grand poetry slam finals. 6:30pm in Pillsbury 110.
  • Thursday, 12/18: Golden Thyme Cafe in St. Paul: Celebrating the final "Soul Sounds" open mic before a big relaunch next year. 6pm.
5. New Music Coming Very Soon
If you've been to a performance in the past month or so, you may already have my new album, "A Love Song, A Death Rattle, A Battle Cry." It's a collection of some of the best songs I've ever been a part of, plus some brand new tracks, some poems, some exclusive remixes and more. I'll be releasing it online very soon as well, so stay tuned.

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