"A moment comes, which comes but rarely in history, when we step out from the old to the new,
when an age ends, and when the sound of a nation, long suppressed, finds utterance." -Jawaharial Nehru
The Write Side Poets empowers the next generation of leaders, self-defined artists, and visionary
activists through written and oral literacy. We challenge youth to find, develop, publicly present,
and apply their voices as creators of social change. The Write Side Poets has become the latest
haven for poetry and spoken word created by young people, building on a model proven in San Francisco Bay (Youth Speak), New York City (Urban Word), Minnesota (Spoken Word Experience) and Chicago (Young Chicago Author). In 2000, based on the success in those cities, poets, educators and activists within the Tampa Bay area met to plan the first version of its kind here in Florida. The group gelled and moved forward to look for local sponsorship. The Write Side Poets' dedication to confronting the diverse nature in which language is sometimes used made the program flourish. In 2004, based on its success in Tampa Bay, The Write Side Poets moved to South Florida to start its dynamic program in Dade and Broward Counties . The Write Side Poets aspires to... make poetry a part of the daily lives of young people, giving teens tools to combat negative and inaccurate stereotypes. We enter into conversations and dialogues about issues that affect them... and us all. This, in turn, works to redefine the ideas of canon and cultural dialogue. We also endeavor to bolster the Dade and Broward Area's capability to support meaningful engagements between artists of all ages, audiences, and the community from which they come.
TWSP brings adolescents together across class and cultural lines. We create a space where young poets are supported in a multiracial, multi-class, alternative, educational setting. The Write Side Poets offers these young people the ability to explore their voice until their search for identity feels natural. This commitment to developing cultural identity and a sense of community and social consciousness through writing and spoken word is vital to The Write Side Poets' mission and the democratic process in today's United States, as people find new ways to speak for, and define, themselves.
The Write Side Poets is changing Dade and Broward Counties through the power of words. Our dynamic programs build community through poetic cultural exchanges that transcend boundaries of age, race, class, culture, and sexual orientation. We aid personal transformation and nurture self-expression by facilitating collaborative workshops, mentoring young poets, and creating supportive public performance opportunities with the goal of amplifying the often silenced youths' voice. By enhancing public education with school-based programs and performances, teacher training, and after school workshops, The Write Side Poets encourages young people to think critically, write honestly and reclaim their own educational process so that the next generation of leaders can emerge.
There are some overarching goals that drive The Write Side Poets educational and
presentation/publication programs. They are:
1. That youth discover themselves in their own vernacular
2. That youth use language creatively as a tool for cultural critique
3. To create opportunities for teens to become leaders
4. Develop a literacy culture in which youth place themselves in a literary continuum
5. Provide free arts education and performance/publication opportunities to youth who do not
otherwise have access
6. To present the diverse voice of South Florida youth, as representatives, not spokespeople,
for our collective communities.
Designed to develop and publicly present a new generation of artists, thinkers, and leaders, The
Write Side Poets has grown to pioneer the presentation of teen poetry slams, open microphones, and
spoken word events alongside a comprehensive curriculum of educational programs.
Copyrights 2006 © The Write Side Poets Inc. All rights reserved. "Louder than Life" is a project of TWSP and cannot be duplicated without written permission.