Fordham University            The Jesuit University of New York
 


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Community Outreach









High School Outreach

Poets Out Loud’s high school outreach fosters an interest in reading, writing, and listening to poetry. Focusing particularly on students from underserved communities, the program is run in collaboration with high schools and with the organization Girls Write Now.

About an hour before each event in the series, our high school participants gather for a workshop on the poets who are going to read, which the poets themselves join for the final 10 minutes. We are able to offer a light dinner of sandwiches as well as the literary fare. The workshops are led, after consultation with the high school teachers, by advanced Fordham graduate students who are experienced teachers and poets themselves. The high school students join the rest of the audience for the reading. (They are eligible for a drawing in which winners receive a free, inscribed book from one of the poets.)

In the final event of the year, 2-3 students from each school or organization participating with us read their work together with a distinguished poet. We encourage friends of the high school students and family members if it’s feasible for them to attend  to come to this reading.

 
Featured Poems from 2013-2014  Student Poets

Poem by Bre’ann Newsome

Cognitive Instrumental

What is it about my mind?
That produces self-destructive thoughts
Self-detonating time bombs
That infects my neurons
Like a dark plague

3
2
1

And a brain vessel pops
And spews the life liquid of negativity
All over my confidence

It produces a weight so great
I become knee level with the concrete
And my feet dangle through the ceiling of the train station
Waiting for collision

My conscience is suicidal
Plotting on ways to kill itself
Without leaving evidence

This is down
No one is prepared for the out

The train comes
A woman screams
And the train misses
The conductor's tracks change
So all I feel is a gush of metallic air
That leaves my legs dangling array

Until I drop
Start running on the third rail
Chasing the metal bullet
That dodged me

Come back!
I scream
Come back...
I beg

I slow down
The train dissipates into nothing but,
Red eyes lodging itself further into its manmade cavern

Maestro cue the music

Now this is instrumental
My thoughts are instrumental
My mind is a mental instrument

In need of being plucked
But has no strings
A wood wind
With no reed
A vessel that does not bleed
A fruit that is not sweet
A rhythm that does not have a beat

Maestro let me hear the string section

Let me feel the rhythm of their fingers
Let me feel this song of the mile
While I wait for the next train
Let me catch the next grenade
So I can watch it detonate
In the palms of my rough hands

This is art to the psychotic
This is fireworks to a child
This is braille to the blind
This is fluency with a stutter

This is a cognitive instrumental


Two Poems by Tema Regist

1. Deceiving Tunes

And he sang the same song
The lyrical voices that repeat the same verse over and over and over
My pain
He sang about the curves in my body and the grooves in my hips
I love you
Three words that mean the most to me
Uttered by someone of pure deception
Beauty
The aesthetic formation of lies built on lies Built on LIES!
I never knew something so fowl could grow so tall
And sang the same song
His songs made me dance a dance that I could only dance when in his presence
Rhythmic tears flow down my chocolate cheeks engulfed with disbelief
I looked deep into his big brown eyes as he looked at my breast
I listened to his words as he watched my lips
The lyrical verses that traveled from his lips and resonated in my eardrum
As I fell in love with his words and he fell in love with my curves
His music
HIS MUSIC
Made me tremble
The beauty of his words made me shiver from the tips of my toes to the tips of fingers
He always said he wanted a poem
Well he just gave me something to write about
And sang the same song
And he sang the same damn song



2. Muted Bellows

Dear Mommy,
Quietly I lay here undetected and unknown
Eager to meet my creator
Within you I lay in fetal position growing rapidly as my love for you amplifies
Your voice sounds like the sweet melody of humming birds singing on a Sundaymorning

12 weeks approached
Morbid feelings become capsulating
Mommy what’s going on?
Can you hear me?
Sliver metal objects come in contact with my skin
Polished as if they were awaiting my encounter
My heart beat increases rapidly
The metal objects approach me again
Grabbing my body pulling me towards the bottom of your womb
My nails penetrate your insides while I’m dragged
ESCAPE!
….is the only word that continuously consumes my mind
Flipping and turning instinctually until my feet are implanted against your uterine walls
Once again the sparkling sliver that resembles stars tug violently on my arms
Mommy help me!
My resounding echoes that bounce off the walls of your womb
Mommy you will not ignore me for I am your child
You will listen to my voiceless cries that I utter and swallow my persuasive words
You will sway on my profound aura like a child who never wants to leave a swing
A child who will never be me
M O T H E R
Mother- bearing relation a women who has raised a child, given birth to a child, origin source or protector
Protector! You were never my protector
I always thought that mothers greeted their children with open arms
Instead you greeted me with instruments
Instruments that never played music
Physicians say that they are pledged to saving lives
Is my life different?
Worthless
Invaluable
Mommy don’t let them take me away
Please!
Please!
A huge round object moves towards me
Crushed gruesomely
My mouth opens wide but nothing comes out
Muted Bellows
Weapons used against me
A war brought upon the innocent
Mommy!
All you’re left with is an empty womb filled with floating bone fragments and tissue to remember me by
12 weeks ago I was never even dreamt of
And now I’m your nightmare?
The maternal bond that never was

 


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