On Monday, Sept. 8th over 20 teachers, students, and volunteers interested in participating in LTAB-DMV attended our first Teachers Meeting of the season. We’re gearing up for another exciting year of spoken word in DC area schools, and the 2015 Louder Than a Bomb DMV Teen Poetry Slam Festival is going to operate a bit differently than in the years past. Here are a few changes and announcements we made at last night’s Teachers Meeting:
- LTAB-DMV is now open to all schools in DC, MD, and VA who want to participate.
- The 2015 Festival will take place from April 18 – May 2, 2015.
- Registration will be open from February 1 – March 6, 2015, and will cost $200 per team.
- Teachers and students are in charge of establishing, recruiting, running, and maintaining their poetry clubs. Split This Rock and PoetryN.O.W. will not be sending Teaching Artists to work with school teams every week.
- We are currently seeking a new institutional partner to host the festival, as well as more sponsors for the festival and after-school programs.
- We want to send Teaching Artists and volunteers to help with the after-school poetry clubs, and will try our best, but not every school will have a coach from Split This Rock or PoetryN.O.W. working with them.
- There will be a writing contest as part of the festival this year. The LTAB-DMV 2015 Poetry Writing Contest will be open from Feb. 1st – Mar. 6th, just like team registration.
- Now is the time to start organizing and recruiting new members. Set up an open mic and an interest meeting at your school now and let us know so that we can help you spread the word.
- PoetryN.O.W. has free lesson plans and guides that they are sharing with our network. Email JosephGreen@poetrynowva.com to get access to this curriculum.
- The Academy of American Poets has similar lesson plans available here.
- Bring your poets to our open mic’s and poetry slams and workshops. This is a great way to practice and there are plenty coming up.
- Don’t forget to add your opinions to the 2014 LTAB-DMV Participant Survey (if you indeed participated in last year’s festival).
There were some questions at the meeting about the poetry slam rules and if there would be any changes to those. We have not made any decisions about slam rules at this point. Further updates and announcements will be coming along each month. For now, we want all of our friends and allies in schools around the area to remain focused on recruiting more students to join their clubs and making the experience the best possible. The goal is to bring poetry out of the margins and into the center, to celebrate the power, passion, and talent of all students, and to create educational, social, and transformative experiences through creative writing and sharing in safe spaces. We need your help to make sure every student at your school feels welcome and encouraged to join the poetry club. We are focusing all our efforts this fall semester on giving teachers, staff, and students the resources and advice they need to run highly successful poetry clubs.
We will be holding Teachers Meetings monthly to provide training, professional development, and best practices among our network of poets, volunteers, and teachers.
- Split This Rock will host monthly sessions on the evening of the 1st Monday of each month, from 6:00-8:00pm in DC.
- PoetryN.O.W. will host monthly sessions on the morning of the 3rd Saturday of each month, from 10:00am-1:00pm in Northern, VA.