Thursday, April 07, 2016

New Footage of "Ten Responses to the Phrase 'Man Up'" Plus a Massive Update of My List of Other Poets' Work

Lots happening right now, especially with my final grad school presentation right around the corner (Monday, 4/11 at 7pm at Rarig; free and open to the public). Two things related to that:

First, here is brand new footage of what has become my most popular poem, "Ten Responses to the Phrase 'Man Up.'" The Button Poetry version already has 850k views (!), and there's another version with 100k+ too, but this performance is just better, I think. If you know me, you probably already know this poem, but it's always nice to have a more definitive version available online. Find the full text here.


Second, I just completed a huge update to my "Beginner's Guide to Spoken Word and Slam Poetry" page. There, I've collected over a hundred poems that I would recommend to others; a few personal favorites mixed in with some that I think just do a good job capturing the power of spoken word as both a form of artistic expression and a potential teaching tool. Check it out, and feel free to get in touch with any suggestions.

Friday, April 01, 2016

My Final Presentation/Performance for Graduate School: Monday, April 11 at the U of MN's Rarig Theater


I've been in grad school at the U of MN for the past two years. I'm super close to being finished. If you're interested in my research, you can come check out this public presentation/performance on Monday, April 11 at the U of MN's Rarig Thrust Theater. 7pm. Free.

I won't go into super-specific detail here, but my project basically centers around how spoken word can be a useful tool for making social justice education programs not just more engaging or more entertaining, but more critical. We are often tasked with covering specific topics: consent, microaggressions, bystander intervention, identity & privilege, etc. But part of my project is about figuring out how we can talk about these things while also cultivating real dialogue, making systems of power more visible, challenging capitalism and the neoliberalization of the university, encouraging agency and activism, and creating spaces for real collaborative learning and organizing.

Especially when we're talking about first-year orientation and welcome week programs, where time is short and real relationship-building is a challenge, I'm interested in how spoken word (whether through live performance, online video, or generative writing prompts-- and the open discussion that would accompany all three) can be used by facilitators to do the kind of work that powerpoint presentations or bullet-point lists of statistics can't do.

There will be a free, public, online element of my project too, so if you're interested in that kind of thing but can't make it to the event itself, stay tuned.