Teenagers have a way to turn angst and pain into poetry through the spoken word project, Get Lit — Words Ignite. The program started 10 years ago as an effort to use poetry as a way to increase teen literacy — and it’s working.
Today, thousands of teens at dozens of schools in Southern California go through the program each year. The students study and memorize classic poems then write and perform their own. Now the work of 19 star poets has been collected in a new book called "Get Lit Rising."
The program’s founder, Diane Luby Lane, came by The Frame’s studio with one of the young poets featured in the book. Lane explained how the Get Lit process works:
It was important to us that our students not just write and tell their own stories, which is incredibly important, but also appreciate and feel connected to the stories by poets that have come before them.
Lane was joined by poet Marquesha Babers, who shared why the program has been so valuable to her.
I used to put myself on this back-burner and [think], Okay, well, I gotta take care of my mom, my brothers. I've gotta take care of this, this, this, and then I never get the chance to come around and take care of myself. Being in Get Lit and doing the things I do has given me the opportunity to take care of myself along with everyone else.
"Get Lit Rising" is out on October 18th.