Thursday, June 25, 2015

Distinguished Gentlemen of the Spoken Word: in France

The Distinguished Gentlemen of the Spoken Word are bringing Cleveland poetry to France!  And getting some serious kudos from doing it, too.
The Distinguished Gentlemen of Spoken Word is a group of African-American males ages 8-18 who study the art of performance poetry. These gentlemen take classic poetry pieces, movement poetry (mime/breaking/ flexing) and combine it with the art of spoken word.
Poetry has become the living tool that they use to help keep them focused and on the right path in school, at home, and within the community.
--(from their website)
 They've had some setbacks on their way-- attacks, losing money to a tailor who takes the money but doesn't deliver, working against social and institutional barriers... not even to mention the work it takes to raise $10,000 to get to France. (But they did!)  Now they're lionized in Lyon.
The Cleveland-based performance troupe was founded more than 12 years ago by poet, teacher and youth-advocate Honey Bell-Bey.
Can poetry change the world?  I don't know. But here are some young poets who are going to try.

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The poet doesn't invent. He listens. ~Jean Cocteau