Friday, November 10th the South Auckland Poets Collective performed proudly alongside some of our finalist teams from WORD - The Front Line. A strong theme of whakapapa, family and identity emerged through the performances. There was a mixture of tried and true pieces and fresh new writing that moved and inspired those in attendance.
WORD alumni from Selwyn College and Nga Puna o Waiorea graced the stage with their mana wāhine - confronting the ubiquity and senselessness of cat-callers and opening a confronting but necessary dialogue between Auckland and Tāmaki Makaurau.
Sunday, November 12th Action Education facilitated a panel about spoken word poetry as a tool for youth development. The session wove together the history of the South Auckland Poets Collective, the international movement of youth competition in spoken word poetry and the local expression of that competition - WORD - The Front Line.
Ramon kicked things off, sharing his story and the story of the South Auckland Poets Collective, something that started as a youth development programme in 2008 and has grown into a respected group of published and internationally acclaimed artists.
Ken shared his journey with spoken word in the United States and the Brave New Voices movement.
These stories met when SAPC visited California and witnessed Brave New Voices firsthand. Blown away, the kiwi poets returned home and sharpened their pencils.
In 2017, we can proudly say that the youth poetry scene in Tāmaki Makaurau is of an international standard - for the second year in a row we are taking our winning team from WORD to Australia and we are starting to dream about what it might look like to take on Brave New Voices.
For those in attendance at the NZPCF, this talent was in evidence as the 2017 WORD - The Front Line champs, Dilworth School, rocked the mic and shared their truth. Shot to Jai, Nathan, Jaiden and Philip for sharing your work in front of some incredible poets and authors. You killed it.
As always, big ups to Ainslie Burns, Dilworth Teacher Librarian, for coming out on a Sunday and supporting the team.
Last stop before Melbourne.
Thanks for having us NZPCF! It was humbling to be invited and so awesome to see our young people take the stage at your prestigious event.