Spoken word poetry often gets overlooked in the scope of the culture but is an element of Hip Hop just as essential. Glass Reflex has featured a number of talented performers in the Hip Hop community, but few involved in teaching the culture like the Poetry Project.
Josephus III is a poet, educator, and founding director of the Poetry Project based in Greensboro, NC. The program mentors local high school students through spoken word poetry workshops to liberate their minds through the art form. When asked about the importance of poetry in education, Josephus tells Glass Reflex:
It allows you to express yourself. A friend told me there are two ways for your stories to be told: by you, or by someone else. So our voices, our ideas, are important. The sooner we’re able to relate to that, that makes us a stronger person, period. It goes outside creativity or literacy. It allows us to express ourselves.
‘Dear You’ is an open letter to the group of young poets he mentored this past year. You can follow the work of Josephus III and the Poetry Project at their website here.