Poetry is Cool …don’t believe us? Keep reading!

Last week, we talked about poetry for children (we still have “Alligator Pie” stuck in our heads), but poetry is for everyone! This week, we wanted to talk to a group that usually describes poetry as“weird” or “dumb”. That’s right, teenagers – we’re talking to you.

Here’s what we want to say: poetry doesn’t have to rhyme. Poetry doesn’t have to be lame. Poetry can be a great way to express yourself and make change. Poetry can be whatever you want it to be.Poetry is everywhere, and you might not even realize it. The music you listen to? Poetry.

Cardi B, Tupac, Jay Z …poetry. It’s everywhere now, but hip-hop poetry used to be a new thing. In the 70’s, the youth of New York City used poetry instead of violence to settle differences. They realized that poetry can be a powerful thing that they could use to change their communities. That same power exists today – you just might have to look a bit harder to find it.

Last year, we were excited to invite the Hamilton Youth Poets to our Telling Tales Main Event. The Hamilton Youth Poets empower young people to grow into and use their voices to express themselves through spoken word poetry. Just like NYC in the 70’s, the Hamilton Youth Poets use their voices to solve problems and help figure out who they are. Their YouTube page is full of unique works: poems about their hair, language, and the West Edmonton Mall.

But what if you live outside of Hamilton? Don’t let distance stand in the way of your voice. Take a piece of paper, right now, and write a poem. It doesn’t have to rhyme, and it doesn’t have to fit a song.  All it has to do is express your thoughts and feelings.

Remember: poetry is whatever you want it to be.