Student Affirmations

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“I didn’t think it was going to be much walking in, but walking out I felt changed, moved, and maybe even refreshed. Not only just their writing, but even them, simply as people seem like such genuine and accepting people and I’m so glad I was blessed with the experience of meeting and hearing them perform.”

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“Before I went to the assembly, I wasn’t a big fan of poetry. Mainly because it isn’t what I’m used to. After I went to the assembly I realize that poetry is so much more than just rhyming words. I realize there is a lot of meanings in poems. There are different forms of poetry. Some poems can tell stories about hard times or good times. Poems can tell a lot of things about the author. Depending on the words the use, the mood of the poem, or the voice they use to narrate the poem. Sometimes they raise their voice and others they move around a lot and move their hands.”

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” I had already attended some of their past events, but that did not make them any less exciting and fun at our assembly. My favorite part was the Peace and Love? … Love and Peace!, part. It was really positive and I could tell it reached a lot of the students that don’t always open up to people.

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“Thank you for sharing your knowledge, and all of your previous memories and feelings, and putting them into poems. You guys have made me realize, that poetry isn’t just writing and writing, it’s what you want to be, it’s your memories, your feelings, and your everyday life. I think I now know more about poetry, how to write poetry, what you can make poetry be, how you can put your feelings and different colors, and change them to words. Thank you for coming in, and showing us all of your knowledge, and just all you did for us.”

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“Thank you so much for coming to share your poems and your stories. Your poems truly moved me and made me really enjoy poetry. I loved how your poems were about current topics that I could relate to, and I’m sure others could relate to as well. I have never been super interested in poetry before. I write a lot of songs on my guitar, but I never did much poetry that wasn’t to music. Now that you came, I am really interested in poetry now. I’m even thinking about maybe doing a teen poetry slam! In a nutshell, I’m so thankful that you came to our school.”

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Rachel, in February I attended your “How to Write a Love Poem that Doesn’t Suck” class. I went with the intention of writing myself a love poem. I needed a boost. You prompted us to write down 10 things we loved about our subject: a physical trait, a personality trait, etc. I wrote down two things and couldn’t think of anything else I loved about myself. I felt my eyes start to water, quickly turned my paper over and began writing 10 things I loved about my husband. I worked on a poem for him for the rest of that class. When I got to my car, I couldn’t help but let it out. Two things, I cried. Just two things. I never did finish that poem for my husband, and that only fueled the fire. Another unfinished poem. Maybe you’re not a writer like you think you are. I thought if I could just finish one poem, maybe it’d all come pouring out of me, maybe I could capture the magic I had when I was younger.

Fast forward to this summer, I see an email come through for a free class open to students and adults. I emailed to confirm I could sign up as a full-ass 29 year old. It seemed too cool to be true. Once I was in class, I expected to just be able to … yknow … do it. Write a piece. It wasn’t as smooth as I expected. It took work. It took digging up some bullshit I didn’t want to deal with. It was an emotional investment, and I was unprepared. After a few weeks, I had put together one unfinished poem (“Hey Todd”). Unfinished. I kept showing up, kept trying. One day, a dam broke and Pandemic Blues came out – fast and messy and not one ounce of control in sight. It wasn’t finished, but it was the most poemy poem I had written in years. The Weightless poem came soon after. It would be easy for me to look at those nine weeks and say 2.5 poems? That’s it? But the truth is, this is the most I’ve felt like my real, authentic self in so long…
The Diatribe gave me my superpower back.
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