I am so excited about this guy – Derick Ebert, Baltimore’s first Youth Poet Laureate and a 19 year old sophomore at University of Baltimore.
In a recent performance of his poem “Archaeologist” (video in the Baltimore Sun article), Ebert speaks about growing up “boy” in our culture. He weaves his identity dilemma with issues like race, masculinity, and relationship with father. His performance is powerful – I showed it to my introduction to lit students and they were captivated.
Also view Ebert’s performance of the same poem in a classroom setting (presumably with fellow students in the room).
In the past few months, I’ve been writing blog pieces for Howard County Poetry and Literature Society about poetry in the lives of young people. The pieces have featured local poetry-loving young poets in Howard County, Maryland like Katy Day (college student) and Faheem Dyer (high school student). In getting to know them, I’m rediscovering the impact that poetry can have on people. To say the least, they are thoughtful, articulate, and imaginative people who are thinking and feeling critically about themselves and the world. Doesn’t that embody everything we want in the “future” of humanity?
In my opinion, these young poets and poetry-lovers DO stuff with and to poetry. They don’t just read it or recite it just to appreciate it. They embrace it, activate it, make it their own, and live them. They make poetry exciting.