Next on The Bridge: Arts for the 99%, May 25, 2:30 p.m. Books of Hope, “a dynamic youth literacy empowerment program inspiring the next generation of young authors through writing, publishing, performing, and entrepreneurship.” This program features Soul Brown, Director of Books of Hope, and four young writers reading their poems and discussing their work in a round-table format moderated by host Janet Gillespie.
Most of us are aware of the importance of the arts in expressing and sharing experience and ideas, and showing us new perspectives on the worlds we live in, and we understand the value of arts activities for young people. The young artists of Books of Hope do more than creative writing however; in addition to writing and performing their poetry, they also publish their own work and sell their books.
Without the publishing/entrepreneurship components of their project, I would have never known about Books of Hope.
I first became aware of Books of Hope in 2009 when I attended the Mass Poetry Festival in Lowell MA. There, among the crowd of adult, mostly white poets and their shiny books, I found three vibrant young women of color at a table displaying an impressive number of slim books of poetry. They told me about their project, which involves not just writing poetry, transforming their experiences and ideas into art, but also publishing their work, creating and selling the books I was holding in my hands. As I leafed through their books, I was caught up in their vision and their voices, their imagery, their ferocious honesty and, yes, their hope. I bought three books and used them in a writing class I was teaching at the Boston Campus of Springfield College. My students loved the poems and stories and clearly resonated with them as art and as social commentary.
Join us on The Bridge: Arts for the 99 % on May 25, 2:30 p.m. to meet Soul Brown and the remarkable young poets of Books of Hope.
To learn more about Books of Hope, visit http://booksofhope-ma.org