Three ASFA-CW students — Myra Grizzard, Egg McClure, and Kenzie Price — competed in the Region III Poetry Out Loud competition in Tuscaloosa today. In what Tuscaloosa County Arts Council Education Director Sharron Rudowski described as the strongest field of competitors ever to participate in the Region III competition, Egg and Myra advanced to the state competition to be held in Montgomery next February. Egg won first place in the anthology (recitation) category and third place in the original poetry category, while Myra was chosen as one of five competitors to advance in the original category. Congrats to all the competitors on representing their schools — and poetry — so admirably!
We’re pleased to welcome poet and performer Jahman Hill to ASFA-CW for a “mini-residency” in October. On Oct 14, he’ll perform his acclaimed one-man show, “Black Enough,” for our students in the ASFA Lecture Hall. Then on the two following Mondays (Oct 21 + Oct 28), he’ll conduct master classes for our students in writing poetry for performance. We can’t wait to see what the students create under the tutelage of an artist and educator as multi-talented as Jahman!
In conjunction with the Princeton students’ Black History Program later in the day, ASFA-CW students spend their most recent Princeton workshop session sharing some Langston Hughes poems — “I, Too” and “Theme for English B” — and talking a little bit about the Harlem Renaissance. We then wrote poems modeled after Hughes’s poems, which made reference to popular culture and music of his day while commenting on the political and cultural climate surrounding him. Continue reading
For posterity (and/or if you weren’t lucky enough to be in attendance for last week’s “My Favorite Poem” event at ASFA), here’s a list of our readers and the poems/poets they favored — with links! Thanks so much to all the participants…
Anna Butcher (Hoover) | ASFA-CW Senior
- “Forest Fires” by Sarah Kay (see above)
Ben Allen (Vestavia) | Pharmacist
Beverly Radford (Cook Springs) | Retired Educator
- “Allison Beals and Her 25 Eels” + “Falling Up” by Shel Silverstein
Andrew Brown (Vestavia) | Actor/Comedian
Lauren-Elizabeth Dewberry (Pell City) | ASFA-CW Senior
Judy Jones (Highland Park) | Retired Banker
Brielle Morrow (Montgomery) | BTW-CW Senior
Linda Williams (Fairfield) | Banker
Murray Vella (Homewood) | Nanny
J.D. Peppers (Crestwood) | Stylist
- “There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly” by Melissa Webb
Lee Gaines (Montgomery) | BTW-CW Sophomore
- “What You Should Eat Before Reading the Poem” by Richard Hague
Lisa Oestreich (Downtown Birmingham) | Physician
Jack Royer (Mountain Brook) | News Anchor (CBS 42)
We’re pleased to report that our annual My Favorite Poem event was a smash success. Many thanks to the folks at Reed Books, Birmingham Arts Journal, as well as our ASFA-CW parent group, all of whom worked hard to make it happen. Thanks, too, to our friends and fellow creative laborers from the Booker T Washington Magnet High School in Montgomery, who joined us as well. Thanks to the generosity of the large crowd on hand on Friday night, we’ll be able to send a check for over $650 to the BTW Fame Board, which will be earmarked to help the BTW-CW department recover from the recent fire that decimated the school’s campus.