Tag Archive | Gary L. Hawthorne

Poetry Out Loud

April marks the observance of National Poetry Month and an explosion of “Poetry Out Loud” events. Poetry Out Loud is a contest that encourages young people to learn about poetry, enhance their public speaking skills and increase their appreciation for poetry’s impact on society. It is cousin to the highly acclaimed “Brave New Voices,” which if you haven’t witnessed it, you must. It is truly something special.

Although the focus for both Poetry Out Loud and Brave New Voices is on young people, many adults have embraced Poetry Out Loud especially and twisted it into spin-off events. These events have included poetry discussions, readings, open mics and more. One such event occurs this Friday, April 24, in Dallas, Texas. The Writer’s Block, a neighborhood or block of African-American writers, presents this event, bringing to the stage Slam Master Rock Baby.

Rock Baby

Roderick “Rock Baby” Goudy is viewed by many as a natural performer. His explosive performances, built on his distinctive style of comedic poetry, captivate audiences from beginning to end. A combination of thoughtful words, upbeat rhythms and amazing vocals has earned him headliner as well as supportive roles at events held at colleges, comedy clubs and poetry venues. Rock Baby is a HBO “Def Poetry Jam” favorite, and the recipient of numerous awards and rankings, acquired in performance poetry and slam competitions. For ten consecutive years, he has served as Slam Master for the Dallas Poetry Slam and consistently earns a position on the Dallas Slam team representing Dallas at local, regional and national competitions.

I have seen Rock Baby perform and was blown away. He is truly engaging and amazing! If you’re in the area, come on out and enjoy the show. If you’re not, check out these clips of Brave New Voices performances.

Event Details:

Friday, April 24, 2015

7:00 to 9:00 p.m.

Half Price Bookstore – 5803 E. NW Highway, Dallas, Community Room

Free admission; Family-friendly fun

MC’d by Gary L. Hawthorne, Poet and Author of Poetic Rhythms for Life’s Moods

Behold my Poetry Giants

Where did April go?

Seems like it just started and we were looking forward to a full month of National Poetry Month events. And now, there’s only a few days left in the month and all of the events have wrapped up (which were all wonderful, by the way). So I guess that means it is time to add my farewell to National Poetry Month.

I thought it appropriate to end the celebration by sharing my list of Poetry Giants. My who? you may be asking. My Poetry Giants. These are the poets who I love, who I read over and over. My Poetry Giants strengthen and encourage me; their words lift me and soothe my soul. Their works communicate my thoughts, dreams, beliefs and wishes in succinct, rhyming and sometimes non-rhyming verse. These are the poets I owe a debt to and I pay them gladly by creating my own literary works.

So now that you know this much, let me share the rest by listing their names. They are:

Langston Hughes

Martha Switzer

Langston Hughes

Venson Fields

Langston Hughes

Pam Fields

Langston Hughes

Ruth Stewart

Langston Hughes

Gary L. Hawthorne

and of course, Langston Hughes

I know that I’ll be reading (and in some cases re-reading) these poets’ words over the next 365 days, until the next National Poetry Month, and even beyond that. But I also look forward to being introduced to the works of other poets–new and established. Ohhh, it’s going to be a delicious year of verse!

So tell me…what Poetry Giant(s) will you be reading for the next 365? Who is/are your Poetry Giant(s)?