Today we had our first LTAB meeting for the 2014 season. This is one of my favorite days of the year - it's when the returning poets reminice with us about the good times, and the newbies start to have their curiosity piqued. We watch videos, and more videos, and talk about what makes great spoken word poetry. For those of you who haven't heard of LTAB (Louder Than a Bomb), here is a quick history from the YCA (youngchicagoauthors.org) website:
Louder Than A Bomb (LTAB) was founded in 2001, by Kevin Coval (YCA Artistic Director) and Anna West. LTAB is the largest youth poetry festival in the world, featuring over 100 zip codes within the Chicago-land area.
LTAB was created to give youth around the city of Chicago a platform to share their stories. The festival has since become a “bridge” for young people from many different backgrounds to come together and find a common ground through their narratives.
We are part of this movement, and eternally grateful for the opportunity to participate. In an educational landscape of standardized testing, it's so critical for me to have this outlet for my kiddos. I will believe, until my dying teacher's breath, that creativity is the highest form of intelligence - the one thing that we've decided is not worth a "standard",worth measuring, worth teaching. I have the opportunity through Louder Than a Bomb to write and revise and perform some truly creative works of art. Not only do we get to write hard, but the kids have the genuine opportunity to meet and interact with kids from all over the city.
Tryouts are the week after Thanksgiving. Tara and I are really looking forward to hearing the pieces from our students! For now, I'll leave you with a quiet, subtle piece from last year's team. This is Shannon and her piece is called "We Are the Ivy":