Posted by eireland 2 years, 7 months ago


Los Angeles-based Get Lit started ten years ago as a nonprofit organization that uses the power of poetry as a way to increase teen literacy. Thousands of students in Southern California go through the program each year and produce powerful works of art like this: 

Get Lit was recently featured on NPR  and I loved hearing about the process behind creating these poems.

They interviewed Get Lit's Founder, Diane Luby Lane, who explained the importance of having students not just write and tell their own stories, but also feel connected to and tell stories from poets who've come before them such as Sylvia Plath and Langston Hughes. Every year they put together an anthology of 150 poems and students raise their hand and claim the piece that speaks to them. They then learn it, memorize it and make it come to life. This connection to timeless authors is incredibly important even though the person may be 400-years-old.

Diane said after the process with other poets, students start to respond with their own poems and really grow as writers and communicators. They memorize and perform these pieces as well. 

Get Lit got me thinking about my own creative process and that of my peers. We all get caught up in staying futuristic, especially in the "what's next" of the digital age. Why don't I ever take a step back, connect with the classics before I launch myself into my next creative project? We should all curate an anthology of articles, books and poems for inspiration or the classics that made us love language in the first place. These are the legends, the pioneers with talent that lasts forever. 

I encourage any communicator to try Get Lit's creative process because it seems very empowering. According to NPR, thousands of teens at dozens of schools in Southern California go through the program. Nineteen young poets are included in a new book called Get Lit Rising out this month. I will buy a copy to thank them for this vision and celebrate their 10th anniversary! 


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