Announcement: Hyber Bole Host and Feature Confirmed!

poetryN.O.W. is excited to announce the host for next year's Hyper Bole, the founder and slammaster of the Beltway Poetry Slam in Washington, D.C., the wonderful, the amazing... drum roll please... 

SARAH D. LAWSON! 

 She loves hugs, too!

She loves hugs, too!

Also confirmed for next year's Hyper Bole is our feature, the award winning spoken word artist from Yonkers, NY:

JOSHUA BENNETT! 

 A successful AND dapper poet!

A successful AND dapper poet!

Joshua Bennett has performed at various acclaimed events and venues such as The Sundance Film Festival, The NAACP Image Awards, The Kennedy Center, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Poetry Africa and President Obama’s Evening of Poetry and Music at the White House. He has recited on BBC Radio Oxford, alongside former U.S. Poet Laureates Billy Collins and Rita Dove, at the Du Bois Institute Panel as a guest of Henry Louis Gates, and opened for Dr. Cornel West at the Rochester Institute of Technology.

You may recognize him from his poem, 10 Things I Want To Say To A Black Woman:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v-FJKzJeVlA

Get excited! Next year's Hyper Bole will be on January 31st at George Mason University! 

Posted on August 31, 2014 .

Ideas to Inspire Words: Photoshopping Real Women into Cover Models

A fascinating video about beauty standards and how photoshop can set them. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zRlpIkH3b5I

 It strips character. It strips identity. 

It strips character. It strips identity. 

Every now and then we come across things that inspire us to create. How does this video inspire you? Send over thoughts, words, poems, quotes, and all goodness to josephgreen@poetrynowva.com. The best or most thought-provoking will be featured on the blog!

Posted on August 11, 2014 .

How to Raise Kids with Kindness

An article that addresses the importance of raising children to be nice.

http://m.washingtonpost.com/news/parenting/wp/2014/07/18/are-you-raising-nice-kids-a-harvard-psychologist-gives-5-ways-to-raise-them-to-be-kind/

"Weissbourd and his cohorts have come up with recommendations about how to raise children to become caring, respectful and responsible adults. Why is this important? Because if we want our children to be moral people, we have to, well, raise them that way."

Posted on August 6, 2014 .

Obama on "Acting White"

Read about Obama's take on the phrase "acting white" in the article below:

http://m.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-partisan/wp/2014/07/22/obama-goes-there-on-acting-white/

An interesting, thought-provoking quote:

"'Acting white' and its ugly cousin 'not black enough' are noxious putdowns meant to foment a sense of betrayal. Those who employ it believe their targets are so ashamed of being black that they value things considered the provenance of white people to be superior to all others."

Posted on July 28, 2014 .

Student Highlight: Hanan Seid

 Hanan in all her glory.

Hanan in all her glory.

 

Introducing our very first student highlight, the dedicated Hanan Seid! She is a rising senior at Washington-Lee High School. 

Hanan has been involved with poetryN.O.W. for two years now, participating in the Hayfield Slam, the Hyper Bole, LTAB, and the Washington-Lee Slam this year.

Here is her poem:

 

That’s Not a Religion

It’s crazy how three numbers can turn me from a friend

to a flight threat —

like I had the ability to turn my watch

into a bomb set.

 

And any time I spoke an Arabic phrase

they would all look so afraid,

like saying ‘assalamu alaykum’ was code for “lets blow up the place.”

And I apologize for the 19 inhumane,

but note that 99% of us are sane.

 

Maybe I’m overreacting.

What country would take the actions of a few,

and blame it on a whole civilization?

Thank God we don't live in that nation.

 

No,

I live in the land of the free

sworn up and down for both you and me,

but freedom is tested throughout history

so forgive me if I don't see —

too blind and deaf to see sanity,

and never hear reality in a land where freedom

doesn't really come free…

 

Anytime a teacher brings up New York City

I’m labeled.

Organized on the media’s table.

“Those Muslims are so unstable.”

Fighting in armies against peace.

 

And I’ve apologized numerous times,

even though I knew it had nothing

to do with me.

 

You call me that girl with the veil that's oppressed

but when you see a nun walk around you give her the utmost respect.

 

But I want you to get to know me,

and what I believe.

Don’t let them twist your mind;

they deceive.

 

Don’t trust everything that is said —

all the media wants is hatred to be spread,

and tomorrow

I’ll introduce you to my scarlet letter.

 

When I was a little girl I never walked next to my mother

because of how others viewed her.

 

All I wanted was to be from here.

But swearing to this country would mean I was forgetting where I’m from.

How do you forget what brought you here in the first place?

It’s like looking at my ma’

and telling her that all her sacrifices were a waste.

 

All those stares,

all those words

never phased her.

 

There is terrorism,

but I’m here to remind you it’s not a religion.

 

I pity the media because their minds need help;

love me or hate me,

just as long as you do it by yourself.

 

I break stereotypes on a daily basis,

a slick worded Hijabi.

 

So when I introduce myself tomorrow,

ignore the prepackaged preconceived idea of me.

I want you to know the real me.

Heart-to-Heart with Hanan:

Why do you write?

For now I write for me, getting all my energy down on a piece of paper.

What do you hope to some day do?

Some day I hope to write to inspire others to choose a creative way to deal with issues at hand. Staying silent helps no one. Words can only help you if you speak or write them down.

I hope my poem inspires people to choose to speak up and to always look for the truth. 

Posted on July 21, 2014 .

poetryN.O.W.'s Blog Launch!

Poets, writers, lovers of words and all things wonderful: welcome, welcome! 

We're excited to announce the launch of our incredible, outrageous, and awe-inspiring blog! Need some insight? Motivation? Love? You've come to the right place. Check up on us from time to time and you'll find updates of our current happenings, highlights from student poems, uplifting quotes, and enlightening videos.

We'll be updating fairly frequently so make sure you come back to us. 

 Let us enthrall you.

Let us enthrall you.

Stay in the loop! Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram.

https://www.facebook.com/poetrynowva

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Posted on July 17, 2014 .