Young! Involving Young Poets and Youth in Poetry X Hunger
Young poets have a lot to contribute to the Poetry X Hunger cause! They bring an energy, edge and moral force to their poetry – often presented as hip hop, slam or in other high-voltage performance modes.
Worldwide and across the U.S., we hope to encourage young poets to write, present and post their poems about hunger. To get started, we’re collaborating with Dialect of Prince George’s County (http://www.dialect-usa.com/) to tap into its very successful and high energy Prince George’s County (MD) Youth Poet Laureate Program that’s directed by Mr. Patrick Washington.
For example, Patrick has asked poets who are participating in the County’s 2019 Youth Poet Laureate program to write about hunger. He’s given the poets the following cues –
Think about the various ways that food touches us all, and explore these in your poems:
1.HUNGER Growling stomachs; wanting eyes; does it matter whether the food is delicious or not when you’re hungry? What is the first function of food? Where are the areas where people are the hungriest?
2.FLAVOR There are many flavors like Sweet / Tart / Salty / Savory / Bitter / Greasy – how many others? How would you describe taste & texture? What emotions go with what flavors? What parts of the body does flavor affect?
3.HEALING Food fills – food changes moods – food comforts you – and FOOD PROMOTES GOOD HEALTH. Just as illness & injury take many forms – there are also many ways to heal, like by eating. WHAT FOODS do you think can heal? Describe the magic that happens when good food heals you.
4.NURTURE Food doesn’t happen without WORK. It comes to our tables because of the hands & hearts of others. Who do you love enough to cook for? If you were a farmer growing food, how would love motivate you?
5.NOURISH Our bodies are machines that require fuel. Food keeps the engine running & gives us the energy to run or dance or dream (what activities do YOU enjoy doing that food helps you to do?) REMEMBER – Not All Food Is Nourishing! Processed foods & snacks may handle #1 and #2 above, but not the rest!
6. WASTE Does food that’s thrown out or that spoils in the refrigerator contribute to hunger? How can we reduce food waste?
QUESTION: How does a person’s diet affect their academic life? How about their personal life? What are the possible long-term effects on a young person’s health?
Photos below are from the Prince George's County’s 2019 Youth Poet Laureate program directed by Patrick Washington
Stay tuned for more details on our YOUNG! Activities – and how you can start a similar program that helps young poetic talents focus on the hunger cause.
Here's a picture of some of the young poets who gathered in July 2019 to brainstorm about how to use social media and this website to further promote Poetry X Hunger. Dr. Tatiana LeGrand is at the far left