Teen and young adult poetry workshops to launch at Newark Public Library
Published July 31, 2018 | Brick City Live
Yet another community skill building program will soon come to Newark Public Library.
New Jersey Council for the Humanities has awarded the library an $18,000 grant for poetry and spoken word workshops for Newark teens and “emerging adults,” defined as those ages 18 to 24.
The library will use the grant to fund a series of poetry workshops this summer and fall–with fall programming starting this week and ending the week of August 9th. The poetry and spoken word program is meant to promote literacy, public speaking skills, and community-based storytelling for Newark youth.
Poet Jasmine Mans, who led teen workshops at the library in the fall of 2017, will teach the upcoming series of courses. Mans is a graduate of both Arts High School in Newark and the University of Wisconsin, where she received her bachelor’s degree in African-American studies, and where she first began teaching creative writing to youth. In addition to being a lauded poet–she is the recipient of the Star Ledger–NJPAC, Arts Millennia, and Knicks Poetry Slam Scholarships and awards–Mans also coached the Newark Slam Team in the Brave New Voices 2018 Youth Poetry Festival in Houston.
Mans’ upcoming library workshops will culminate with two open mic showcases, and she will memorialize participants’ work in an anthology slated to be edited by next spring. Her poetry curriculum spans the Harlem Renaissance, Black Arts Movement and hip-hop.
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In the information age, libraries have proved resilient institutions by offering access to information technology, transforming into community gathering spaces, and offering programs like the poetry workshops. And at a time when easy access to information has also accelerated the flow of bad information, public libraries are underscoring their role as essential community resources for research, information, skill building and lifelong learning. Each year, according to the library advocacy group American Library Association, public libraries offer 4.3 million programs nationwide.
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Since the appointment of new library director Jeffrey Trzeciak, the library has scaled and diversified an already robust array of programming to bring more locals to the institution’s steps and through its doors, both at the Main Library downtown and the library system’s seven other neighborhood branches.
Those programs have included social gatherings like Friday night dance parties and summer cigar nights, plus educational, informational and enrichment programs like the poetry workshops and others, including a “Secrets to College Admissions” series currently touring the library’s community branches.
For more information or to register a teen for the workshops, email Maisy Card, Teen Services Librarian, at email@example.com.