Spoken Word Program at Choir Academy of Harlem

The students in the poetry and spoken word after school program at Choir Academy of Harlem have been working hard on preparing their original work for performance.  They wrote poems on topics of their choosing and have been rehearsing for one another to strengthen their performance skills.  Led by teaching artist Seren Brevigleiri, the students have developed into confident performers with the courage to share their powerful and poignant words.

Here’s a video of Derrick and Raven rehearsing their collaborative piece:

“We’re working on a group performance for the show. We wanted to put our creative minds together and see where it took us. We thought about the things around us and how every New Year, things are said, but nothing really changes. Being in the poetry club and seeing other people perform made me want to write in a way that was more performance-based.” – Derrick

“I worked hard on it. I feel like I can express how I feel about the world but in a subliminal way. I like showing people that I have a different state of mind. I like performing because it shows people who I really am. I like seeing words connect and tell a story, and make meaning.” – Raven

Here’s Ashley rehearsing her solo piece:

“The piece I created is an emotional piece because it’s about what’s going on. A lot of people are going through what I went through. People see me smile, but I wanted to show the other side. I used to always write about how I feel, then rip it up. Poetry class helped me want to share it.” – Ashley

The students attended the Knicks Poetry Slam Finals event in February and were inspired by the performances by their fellow young people.

Students outside the theater following the Knicks Poetry Slam Finals

Derrick and Raven also performed their piece at Choir Academy of Harlem this week as part of a concert celebrating Black History Month.  They closed out the show to thunderous applause from the audience, and we can’t wait to see what they create next!