Lyricism as outreach
In this series, Backstage has spoken to traveling humorists, DIY publishers and spoken word warriors about how they found their niche in the literary form of poetry, and how they manage to marry their collective creative ambitions with “the real world.”
This week we talk with Damien Smith, a musician, spoken word artist and community activist who works to nurture the next generation of Milwaukee poets.
Through the COA Goldin Center, Smith works with teens and pre-teens in a variety of programs designed to build skills and provide positive outlets for local youth. In the center’s spoken word/performance programs, he helps kids harness the power of language to creatively express themselves through song and lyrical poetry.
Mark chats with Damien about spoken word’s connection to jazz and hip-hop, and also talks with special guests Alex James and Hannah Moore, two of the COA’s teen participants, about how poetry has affected their lives thus far.