For this year’s Summer Reading Club, the library challenged Arlington teens to design the Summer Reading Club 2015 teen t-shirt. The design contest ran in January of this year and we received some incredible entries. The designs are so great, we’re showcasing the finalists from the contest. The winner will be revealed soon, along with a sneak peek at what the Summer Reading Club 2015 teen t-shirt will look like. The winner is one of the featured designs below, so take a guess and see if can spot which design won!
(Participants in our Teen Lit Poetry Slam Workshop getting a pep talk from Mike Guinn before they hit the stage.)
On Saturday, May 16, 2015 close to 80 people were in attendance for the culmination of Arlington Public Library’s 12-week workshop program, Teen Lit Poetry Slam. Teens graced the stage at the Improv Comedy Club to perform both a work of classical poetry and an original work of their own creation. The Teen Lit Poetry workshop was adapted from the Get Lit--Words Ignite program founded Los Angeles, CA by Diane Luby Lane in 2006. Get Lit’s goal is to empower teens through poetry and spoken word and with the use of a literacy-based curriculum that combines classical literature and spoken word.
The Arlington Library’s Teen Lit Poetry Slam workshop began with teens reading literary and musical ranging from classic poets like Maya Angelou, Edgar Allen Poe, Emily Dickinson, and Pablo Neruda to modern songwriters like Iggy Azalea and Tupac Shakur. Each teen read a brief biography of the chosen artist, selected a poem or song from the artist’s body of work, and wrote down what emotions and story that the artist was trying to convey in that piece. The purpose of the first part of this workshop was to get teens to develop a better understanding of all the different ways they can convey emotion in their own original pieces.
The second part of our workshop welcomed Poetry Slam Master and creator of the DFW Brave New Voices Youth Slams Mike Guinn. He worked to get teens to open themselves up and write their feelings and their truth in poetic form. Mike Guinn also strove to build up the partcipants’ confidence and get them ready to perform on a stage in front of an audience.
During the final celebration, Mike Guinn kicked thing off and presented two very talented youth poets by the names of Malik Gratts and Ashton Williams. Afterwards, adult poet and Boles Junior High School Librarian, Margaret Garrett, recited a poem about the importance of continuing to write no matter what. Garrett has become very involved in the poetry slam scene in Texas.
Next, the Teen Lit crew each read from a classic poem that they had chosen in preparation for this event. Two of the poems read were I Cry by Tupac Shakur and Mother to Son by Langston Hughes.
The Arlington Library teens really shone during the poetry slam portion of the event. Teens read their own original works and in some cases performed music for the audience. Teen Zone’s very own James Taylor and Cedric Davis performed their own original songs for the crowd.
We were proud of everyone who had the courage to perform on that stage. And we are just as proud of those teens that couldn’t make it to the celebration for sticking it out for the 12 weeks of the program. Rachelle Penarreta, one of the teens that came to perform for the poetry celebration, said, “It gave me inspiration to write more what I feel and be more outspoken in life.” And that is the best kind of review the Teen Lit Poetry Slam program could hope for.