As a society, we are obsessed with labels. This obsession is cultivated in our childhood. Of course the labels vary based on age and location, but the one thing that remains true is that kids are often labeled by themselves or by their peers. When I was in high school there were labels like basketball player, cheerleader, emo kid, track star, skateboarder, musician, stoner, gamer, goth etc. As someone who loved to write poetry, I wish that poet had been an option.
One of PYPM’s greatest joys over the past few years has been watching youth take on the identity as poets. From the ever popular “go in poet,” to the “I see you poet,” to “get free poet,” it’s safe to say that the identity is one that is both codified and coveted. When kids no longer whisper solely about great games but are googling great poems by their peers who are elevated to celebrity status for their “pen swag,” we know we have a responsibility to work twice as hard to make this label the most desired.
This year, in order to further instill a sense of pride in our youth, we are conducting a fundraiser so that all of Slam League teams can have their own poetry team shirts. Our goal is to make every teen participant feel like when they step up on stage, walk the halls of their high school, or stroll down the streets, they are the biggest rock stars to ever grace our city. We want them to be proud of their poet identity, to claim it as their own, and to stand a little bit taller and speak a little bit louder when they hear others whisper, “hey, is that that girl who does the poetry stuff?” or “is that the bull who does poetry? He’s mad dope.” With your help, we can make the label of “poet” even cooler.
Please support us in this effort by clicking here on our Go Fund Me link and donating to our campaign.