Members of Get Lit, a spoken word troupe based in Los Angeles, led a poetry teaser and showcase during Community Flex Time on Nov. 18.
Get Lit Public Outreach Manager Mason Granger, a writer with over 15 years of experience, led the reading, which featured several high school performers from across California. Granger said that contemporary spoken word poetry is a combination of traditional poetry and innovation.
“Even poems that were written hundreds of years ago can be brought to life now, combining new forms of literature, while standing on the shoulders of poets before us,” Granger said.
The teaser featured Get Lit members James Johnson-Brown ’21 and Erzebet Gonzales ’21, a senior at California Crosspoint High School. Gonzales reflected on her racial identity and her experiences as a woman of color growing up in the Bay Area. Johnson-Brown shared 74 facts about himself following a rhythmically dynamic structure, and his poem examined his identity from various perspectives.
“I’ve slowly come to the realization that while the world may look spherical, in reality, it is a polygon with seven point something billion lives and sides, and I guess now you’ve seen mine,” Johnson-Brown said at the end of his poem.
Get Lit hosts optional gathering after teaser
Following the meeting, 90 students and faculty attended an optional Get Lit Players’ gathering on Zoom, which featured Gonzales, Johnson-Brown, Cleveland High School student Caia Lomeli ’21 and Hollywood High School student Jovana Tankou ’21.
Tankou spoke on the nostalgia embodied in the song “Ribs” by Lorde. Tankou and Johnson-Brown’s poems previewed a Get Lit exercise, in which participants wrote about what would happen if Edgar Allen Poe interrupted their everyday lives. Granger said poetry can express a variety of emotions and topics, giving the artist flexibility with style and prose .
“There’s a lot of sides to poetry, and [the freedom of the writer is that they can] just [have] fun with words,” Granger said. “There are so many things to be done with words in serious or lighthearted ways.”