Detroit Youth Poet Laureate to read at InsideOut fundraiser Thursday
InsideOut Literary Arts Projects will host a fundraiser on Thursday to supports its poetry and creative writing programs for metro-area yoiuths age 6-19. "Share the Light: An Evening in Celebration of Youth Voice" will be held at the College for Creative Studies' Taubman Center from 6-8 p.m. Tickets are $125,or $200 for two.
InsideOut organizes writing workshops in and out of schools, brings in professional writers, and hosts Citywide Poets, an after-school literary community for teens.
The nonprofit also sponsors the Detroit Youth Poet Laureate — this year Imani Nichele from Warren. The Detroit News caught up with the 18-year-old Wednesday.
How'd you get involved with InsideOut?
I found them through social media and called the office and went to a session at the main branch of the Detroit Public Library.
Where'd you go to high school?
I went to the Creative Learning Center, an alternative school in Warren.
How long have you been writing poetry?
I've been writing seriously for two years, which is when I started working with InsideOut.
Were you always interested in poetry?
Well, I always liked writing. And I did poetry in school — Shakespeare and Robert Frost. But when I got to InsideOut, I saw poetry in a more contemporary form and fell in love with that.
Who's your favorite poet?
Wow, that's a hard one. I'd say my favorite right now is probably Hanif Abdurraqib, an African-American poet who wrote "They Can't Kill Us Until They Kill Us."
What's been valuable about InsideOut?
Where I grew up, nobody's a poet or writer — you just need to get a job. There's no room to be an artist. But this program puts professional artists in front of you — people who are making a living off things you'd think are just a hobby.
Will you read Thursday evening?
Yes, I'll read a poem of mine, "For When the Boy Asks, 'What Are We?'"
What do you write about?
Everyday, personal narratives. I like to make ordinary situations as elaborate as they are in my head.
Are you headed for college this year?
Not for the moment. I plan on taking the year to work on my artistry.
'Share the Light' fundraiser to benefit InsideOut Literary Arts Program
6-8 p.m. Thursday
College for Creative Studies
Taubman Center, 11th floor
460 W. Baltimore, Detroit
Tickets: $125 per person; $200 for two
To purchase: go to eventbrite.com and search for "Share the Light"