Powered by Bay Area Creative, SPARC Poetry has been sending local poets into classrooms for over ten years, working with 6,000 youth a year ages 5 to 18 years old in underserved communities.
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We are all poems!
We all have experiences, stories, and creativity that pushes out to shape the world.
Jamey had a couple of local SPARC poets from Bay Area Creative come into his drama class during his Freshman year of high school, here is his story:
I thought that poetry was boring and written by people who had nothing to do with me, I was into rapping though so when these interesting guys came into class I thought I’d give it a try.
I always knew I wanted to be a writer and regular school wasn’t able to teach me how to be a professional artist so I thought these poets living the dream could help with that.
After months of working with them each week, I realized that spoken word is a lot like rapping and that it’s a great way for me to let the world know what my experiences are and to connect with people - especially about the difficult things we are all going through.
The writing workshops were high energy, my voice was always heard and I had a great time learning new ways to creatively reach out.
Working with these poets for all four years of high school led to me being mentored by Patrick who brought me to the National Poetry Slam when it was in Oakland. I met hundreds of professional spoken word poets from all over the country. Then he brought me to the local poetry slams and I started performing my own work which quickly led to me joining the Oakland Poetry Slam Team.
Before I knew it, I was performing at the same National Poetry Slam that Patrick had brought me to a few years before.
Today, I am a professional spoken word poet sharing my message about connecting with each other and facing difficulties together. My greatest accomplishment is making a living teaching poetry with SPARC and serving on the Bay Area Creative board of directors with my old mentor. The circle is always coming back around - I am thrilled to teach the youth how to radically use their voice just like SPARC poetry did for me.
The circle is always coming back around - I am thrilled to teach the youth
how to radically use their voice just like SPARC poetry did for me.
Patrick shares his experience of working with Jamey:
As a poetry mentor there is nothing greater than working with someone like Jamey and being able to see him grow into a professional artist, teacher and leader. His dedication to connecting with people and building creative bridges is one of the biggest inspirations in my life.
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