“I don’t know whose side you are on.
But I am here for the people.”
The theme of the 2020 Convergence is “I am here for the people,” inspired by Jericho Brown’s poem “Say Thank You Say I’m Sorry.”
The Poetic Convergence is a one-day convening of teachers, student leaders, arts champions, and poetic giants for the purpose of creating and sustaining poetic communities inside Los Angeles county schools and their neighborhoods.
The Poetic Convergence offers attendees, interactive workshops, engaging keynotes, and youth-led town halls to build community and creativity among our schools.
Join us to transform the educational experiences and outcomes of our youth.
9:00-9:15 – Log In + Review Materials
9:15-9:25 – Opening + Agenda
9:30-11:30 – Patricia Smith Keynote + Workshop: “Writing a Poem No One Wants To Hear.”
12:00-12:30 – How to Ignite Distance Learning with Get Lit Staff
12:30-2:00 – Anti-Racism and The Body with Practice Progress (Teachers only)
12:30 – 2:00 – Saying Thank You, Say I’m Sorry: Responding to the World Now (Students only)
2:15-3:00 – Closing Circle Ceremony with Mason Granger
About the Workshops:
Patricia Smith will present a keynote on how to write a poem that absolutely no one wants to hear. There will be a workshop and Q & A following her address.
Igniting Distanced Education. Get Lit will highlight new practices and programming to keep distance learning engaging and interactive while keeping student expression at the center.
Anti-Racism and The Body. Participants will work in race-based affinity groups in order to create learning environments where people of color and white educations can process their different racialized experiences in knowing company. The Black, Indigenous, and People of Color gathering will prioritize embodied release, care, and rest, while the circle of white educators and students will focus on building personal and relational awareness around race and racism. EDUCATORS ONLY.
Say Thank You, Say I’m Sorry: Responding to the World Now. This workshop based on Get Lit’s Classic and Response model asks students to reflect on gratitude, forgiveness, and share how we can better support them in these brave new times. STUDENTS ONLY.
Closing Circle and Celebration will give participants a chance to reflect, write and share thoughts to continue the day’s dialogue and kick off the new year with curiosity, courage and creativity.
Meet our Speakers:
Patricia Smith is the author of eight books of poetry, including Incendiary Art, winner of the 2018 Kingsley Tufts Award, the 2017 LA Times Book Prize, the 2018 NAACP Image Award and finalist for the 2018 Pulitzer Prize; Shoulda Been Jimi Savannah, winner of the Lenore Marshall Prize from the Academy of American Poets; and Blood Dazzler, a National Book Award finalist. She is a Guggenheim fellow, an NEA grant recipient, a former fellow at Civitella Ranieri, Yaddo and MacDowell, a Cave Canem faculty member, professor in the MFA program at Sierra Nevada University, and a Distinguished Professor at the College of Staten Island. She is also a four-time National Poetry Slam champion, the most successful competitor in the event’s history.
Practice Progress (Sarah Ashkin + Kai Hazelwood) is an anti-racist facilitation organization addressing white supremacy through experiential body-based learning. It is lead by Sarah Ashkin an educator, choreographer, scholar and trained facilitator committed to dismantling racism and Kai Hazelwood a passionate and experienced choreographer, movement director, performer, educator, producer, and activist.
Mason Granger is the Manager of Community Outreach at Get Lit – Words Ignite, a youth poetry non-profit based in Los Angeles CA. Originally from Philadelphia by way of Willingboro NJ, Mason is a poet with 15+ years of professional experience on stage & in classrooms across 49 states and six countries as ⅓ of the performance poetry trio, Mayhem Poets. In 2014, he created SlamFind, a digital platform specifically intended to connect fans of poetry videos with the poets & live poetry venues where these videos are born. Between 2016-2018, he was the official videographer for the Women of the World Poetry Slam, National Poetry Slam, and Individual World Poetry Slam, producing hundreds of poetry videos that continue to garner million views across multiple platforms. In the spirit of his mission of always keeping the ‘live’ in ‘live poetry’, Mason hosted the weekly PoetNY open mic at Bowery Poetry Club in NYC from 2017-2019 while also serving as Executive Director of Bowery Arts & Science through 2019.