For Immediate Release

August 14, 2000

Local Teens Express Appreciation
for Library's Poetry Slam

When Ann Pechacek asked participants of Poetry Slam, Cliffdale Branch Library's open forum for teens to share poetry they have written, to write a paragraph about their experiences at the programs, she expected some brief sentences about socializing and sharing with friends. What she got, however, were heartfelt, expressive comments that assured her that the program was on the right track. Below are two paragraphs, written by participants of Poetry Slam, explaining why they think Poetry Slam is popular with area teens:

"Poetry isn't about crossing the t's and dotting the i's. It's about conveying an idea, feeling or thought in a structure that spurns that of prose. At Poetry Slam, there isn't talk of Homer's iambic pentameter or Catullus' hendecasyllabic meter. It's just about what one feels and how that person conveys it to the audience. Sometimes expressing oneself for an audience is more rewarding than the hidden poetry of a person's heart and soul. That isn't written down for anyone to see and seeing for oneself is sometimes believing. All of the teens at Poetry Slam come to express themselves at the most obvious place on earth, the library, where creativity should be the epicenter of the community. This is where poetry's newness should be nurtured.

And at poetry night that is allowed, here you can cross your i's and dot your t's." -By Genessa Jagdeo

"A voice is never heard by all. As a member of the few billion human beings on earth, I can say this from experience. At Poetry Slam, the world is put on hold for an hour or two and it seems as if everything of importance is centered there. There are teenagers who attend poetry night to give me their undivided attention as I reveal my thoughts to them, and I attend to extend them the same courtesy. Teen poetry night is a night I look forward to every two weeks. Teens come to read poetry that reflect their mood and on any night a person could find the gathering to be thoughtful, serious, or in stitches. This is a wonderful program that encourages people to write down their thoughts and feelings. I enjoy it to no end." -By Anushka Jagdeo

For more information on Poetry Slam or other teen programs provided by Cumberland County Public Library & Information Center, contact Young Adult Coordinator Heather Clark at 483-1580 ext. 306.

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