Thursday, September 1, 2011

News from InsideOut Literary Arts #michlit

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InsideOut Literary Arts Project Newsletter
Words Have Wings
Sept. 2011

Comerica Park
(L to R) Jalisa Robertson, Joseph Verge, Ariana Washington, Brehonia Reese, Matthew Okunawo, Anthony Grimmett, Michael Shelton, Sarah Hennes, Sherina Sharpe, Terry Blackhawk, and Naomi Long Madgett. (Photo courtesy of Detroit Tigers) 

In celebration of InsideOut's trip to the White House this May and other national recognition, The Detroit Tigers recognized InsideOut in a brief on field ceremony prior to the Tigers vs. Cleveland Indians game on Thursday, June 16.  In addition, as a salute to literacy and poetry, the Tigers also recognized Detroit's Poet Laureate Naomi Long Madgett during that same ceremony.


The Year Ahead
lit mags
2011 Literary Magazines

InsideOut will begin its 17th year serving Detroit Public Schools. Our talented team of writers-in-residence will partner with teachers in approximately 33 DPS schools and four other schools around the region.  While each of our writers brings a different style to the classroom, IO's mission remains the same: engaging budding elementary, middle and high school writers in an creative exploration of the power of their imaginations. Last year, IO serviced 3,900 students in 24 schools.

The 2011-2012 school year will culminate, as it does every year, with the publication of books showcasing the work of students at each school. Last school year, InsideOut produced 24 books, working with students across the district and at the Ruth Ellis Center, one of only four agencies in the United States dedicated to homeless LGBT youth and young adults.  Each student author received a copy of the book published in honor of his or her individual school or community group.

"We're looking forward to the best year yet working with DPS and the other districts we serve,'' said Dr. Terry Blackhawk.  "We're excited about hosting another citywide youth writing conference and classy multi-arts talent showcase and as well as many other amazing opportunities to further demonstrate the high-flying wings words can give our young people and our community.''



Saluting School Leaders
LS at principals luncheon
InsideOut Board Member and former DPS principal Linda Spight speaks at InsideOut's DPS Principals Luncheon. (Photo Credit - Nichole Christian)

A sincere thank you to the 40 enthusiastic Detroit Public School principals and teachers who graciously volunteered a beautiful summer afternoon for lunch and a firsthand look at InsideOut's multi-layered impact on schools and students.  Current and interested principals enjoyed a screening of IO's "A Poet in Every Classroom'' video. The event, at the University of Michigan's Detroit Center in Midtown, included networking with IO board members, writers, staff and of course fine poetry readings from our students.  A few lucky attendees also received free bundles of books for their classroom. 

For more info on InsideOut's Writer-In-Residence Programs please contact Associate Director, Alise Alousi


From Scribe to Scholarship Winner
Justin Rogers

No better way to begin a new school year than with great news. The headlines just continue to roll in for InsideOut and our young literary lions. We're pleased to announce that Citywide Poet Justin Rogers is adding another feather to his trademark fedora. Justin was tapped by the Skillman Foundation as one of 50 recipients of the Promising Youth Legacy Award.


"These awards recognize young people as emerging leaders and current contributors to making a difference in their community, ensure that Detroit and Southeastern Michigan youth attend and graduate from college, and encourage young leaders to return, serve and contribute to the revitalization of Detroit and the state of Michigan,'' according to the Skillman Foundation.


As an awardee, Justin receives $10,000 in scholarship assistance. A new student at Wayne State University, Justin is a tireless supporter of poetry and a member of InsideOut's Citywide Agents group, where he and other alum visit community centers and groups to help teach poetry and spoken word skills to other youth.  Justin's poetry helped to propel InsideOut's six-member Youth Poetry Slam team into the finals at the 2011 Brave New Voices National Poetry Youth Slam and onto 4th place. Justin's selection as a Skillman legacy scholar proves yet again the rich legacy that IO is helping students create for Detroit and for themselves with little more than paper and pen.


"Like so many of students, Justin is an inspiring young leader--funny, open-minded, open-hearted, and devoted to serving others,'' says IO Founder and Director, Dr. Terry Blackhawk. "I look forward with delight to the ways he will grow as a person and a poet."


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