If one year ago you had told me that I was going to end up in any sort of teaching capacity job, I would have :
1) Laughed at you
I have two passions in my life: poetry and pit bulls. My heart is, I thought, a duplex with room for only my dog Zissou and Anne Sexton. Both of these of are the underdogs of their respective fields. Poetry isn't just the black sheep of the literary family, it's the huge fucking monster of the family. Poetry has earned itself a rather unseasonable reputation as being nothing but the botched abortion of a poorly written suicide note and a junior college creative writing course, haphazardly delivered by troubled youths who refuse to read anything besides Poe and lurk around coffee shops, scaring away the soccer moms. Poetry, like pit bulls, has fallen victim to stereotyping; an ignorance driven, reductionist philosophy for the lazy and the fearful.
I have been lucky enough to have met over the past few years a myriad of talented and motivated poets, who are as excited as I am about hot wiring spoken word and by injecting a new life and energy into poetry, help to overhaul its public image and foster a renewed respect for the beautiful and intricate art of it.
And where better to start that process than with another highly misunderstood, horrifically stereotyped, and generally disregarded population; the convicted juvenile felon.
D-Day: October 17th, 2008. Myself and three other poets walked into a classroom, surrounded by high barb wire gates, and met the eyes of twenty young boys in jumpsuits.
My heart was no longer my own.
Tomorrow.....Prison Poetry: They Are Going To Let Us Out, Right? (AKA: Bring Your Own German)