What Special Events and Programs Does the Poetry Collective in Philadelphia, PA Offer for Youth and Students?

The Philadelphia Free Library offers an impressive array of programs and events for all ages each year. The Festival of Poetry and Creative Arts is a great opportunity for poets, musicians, visual and performing artists to explore new approaches to art creation, use new media and technology, and refine their critical lenses. It is also a chance to discuss the origin of the sonnet, which was created in 14th-century Italy and sent to Northern Europe to find a home in England. The sonnet has become the paradigm of the lyrical poem, with its fourteen lines composed of couplets, tercets and quatrains, all equipped with appropriate rhyming schemes.

We will explore how the meter brings expression to actors and the audience, as well as the lasting impact of Phillis Wheatley Peters' voice and creative work. Yalonda JD Green, PhD, is a multifaceted vocalist, poet, educator and creative from Detroit who is a librarian for literature and African studies at the University of Delaware. She is also a Spectrum Fellow from the American Library Association and a Cave Canem Fellow. The Festival of Poetry and Creative Arts will commemorate the 250th anniversary of Poems on Various Themes, Religious and Moral by Phillis Wheatley Peters.

This interdisciplinary roundtable seeks to “disturb the prevailing criticisms of the poetic work of Phillis Wheatley Peter”, refresh our collective understanding of her life, and reflect her agency and brilliant mind that she lived and wrote as a liberated black woman in colonial America. Yalonda JD Green is an experienced facilitator of vocal workshops who has happily participated in frequent musical collaborations, dubbing and improvisation projects, studio and stage work, documentary and independent films, music camps for young people and other experiments that enrich the community. She is ready to connect with the creative cultural communities in her new home in Delaware. The Festival of Poetry and Creative Arts offers an amazing opportunity for youth or students to explore their creativity through poetry.

Participants can bring their favorite sonnet to share with the class or learn about Phillis Wheatley Peters' poems. They can also learn about how meter brings expression to actors and audiences or discover innovative approaches to art creation.