- City Lore
Dialogic Poetry & The Poetry Dialogues Case Study: City Lore by Andrea Assaf
Dialogic Poetry & The Poetry Dialogues Case Study: City Lore [PDF]
by Andrea Assaf
The Poetry Dialogues project was a series of intergenerational workshops, presentations, and community dialogues that utilized contemporary and traditional poetry forms—including rap, spoken word, African jali (or griot) praise poetry, Muslim prayer-calling, and Filipino balagtasan—to engage audiences and communities in dialogue on self-defined issues. The Poetry Dialogues project was based on an exploration of dialogic poetry, the concept of poetry as dialogue and its potential to contribute to a broader civic dialogue. The project included: intergenerational dialogue among youth poets, mentor poets, and elder poets; “dialogue” between oral art forms through the encounter of elder and youth poets; debate or dialogue within the performance of the forms themselves, especially Balagtasan and hip-hop freestyling; and facilitating audience dialogues following each presentation. The Poetry Dialogues yielded many lessons and led to development of this model toward the next phase. The case study, written by Animating Democracy staff liaison Andrea Assaf, illuminates the impact of this project on participating poets and audiences, organizational and partnerships issues, aspects of working with youth, intra- and intercommunity dialogue, and the project's civic dimensions.