Young people ages 12-17 are invited to join free poetry workshops led by Delaware’s Poets Laureate Nnamdi Chukwuocha and Al Mills of Wilmington, and share their finished poems at a public event.
“We are beyond pleased for our New Castle County libraries to host the Twin Poets for these youth workshops,” County Executive Thomas P. Gordon said. “Beyond being a fun, free summer activity close to home, they are a wonderful way for young residents to reflect on their feelings and develop the ability to express themselves in a positive, powerful way through poetry.”
The two-part workshops -- with registration by calling the libraries -- are sponsored by the state Child Placement Review Board. The board planned the project as a summer “opportunity for creative expression” for children it serves, Executive Director Kecia Blackson said, adding, “The partnership with the New Castle County Libraries allowed us to open these workshops to other youth in the community as well.” The Delaware Division of the Arts facilitated arrangements for the partnership and program.
Details of the final event – an “open-mic poetry slam” to be free and open to the public in August -- will be announced shortly, said Sophia Hanson, general manager of the county’s Department of Community Services that includes the libraries.
“In addition to learning about and writing poetry, workshop participants will get to interact with Delaware’s most-famous twins, not only appointed by Gov. Jack Markell to serve as the state’s ambassadors for poetry, but also longtime role models in our community,” Hanson said.
Youngsters in the program will have “the opportunity to learn, through the art of poetry and spoken word, appropriate communication, how to express themselves appropriately and effectively,” Chukwuocha said.
The identical twins, both veterans and vegetarians, have been documented as the nation’s first state-level poets co-laureate. Like their late father, William “Hicks” Anderson, they are community advocates in Wilmington, where Chukwuocha – older by 2 minutes – serves on City Council.
The first of their upcoming workshops will start at the North Wilmington Library Branch at 3400 N. Market St. Workshops there are 4-6 p.m. Monday, July 18, and Wednesday, July 27, with registration at (302) 761-4290. Newark Free Library at 750 Library Ave., (302) 731-7550, will have workshops 1-3 p.m. Saturday, July 30, and Sunday, July 31. Bear Library in Governor’s Square Shopping Center at Del. 7 and U.S. 40 will have workshops 2-4 p.m. on Tuesdays, July 19 and 26, with registration at (302) 838-3300.