Monday, May 16, 2016

6th Annual Cherry Creek Poetry Slam

The power of language is alive and well in the Cherry Creek School District of Colorado, and the young slam poets of the district's six high schools are making their voices heard. Slam poet Jovan Mays is a key force behind the growing slam community in the southeast Denver school district. As a former national slam competitor and as the Poet Laureate of Aurora, Jovan inspires all kids to embrace the spoken word as a platform for their thoughts. Here's a link to the story I wrote on the Cherry Creek School District's 6th Annual Poetry Slam.

“The point is not the points – the point is the poem.” That artistic wisdom was laid down by slam poet Jovan Mays two weeks ago at the Sixth Annual Cherry Creek School District Poetry Slam. Mays, who is a district alum and the Poet Laureate of Aurora, emceed the event as twenty-four high school poets took the stage at Eaglecrest High School on April 14 to throw down verbal gymnastics in their bid for the district championship.
This year’s slam host was Ashley McCulloch, an English teacher and debate coach, who coordinated the event with students from Eaglecrest and other district high schools. For the first time, the Cherry Creek Slam featured poets from all six high schools. Jovan explained how “This district slam began six years ago after I competed at the National Poetry Slam, and I just knew I had to bring this art form back to students in my community.”  He has worked tirelessly during the past decade or so to workshop with students and teachers, promoting the power of language and the freeing power of poetry. “This art form saved me in high school,” Jovan has noted, and he is committed to opening the medium to as many kids as possible.

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