That is Hill Central in New Haven, Connecticut. Each and every year the middle school hosts their Voices slam where spoken word artists can perform their prose for the rest of the school.
Each and every year it gets better. I am so honored to be brought back every April. It is one of my highlights from the year (and I can't wait to post all the photos on Facebook - I am waiting for a special permission to share a special guest poem recited by Willow, a 1st grade at the school - to say I was blown away is an understatement....it was one of the best things I've ever witnessed in my life).
The other highlight of my day was the verse and performance of a young man named Felix. I quickly picked up that performing in front of a large audience is not his norm, but he told me he loved his poem and he couldn't wait for me to hear it. When he got on stage, he knocked the roof off. He had words for bullies and wanted the entire school to know that he celebrated individuality and the beautiful way that he is who he is. He finished his performance with a dance (a variation of Pew Wee Herman's famous gate and the energizer bunny). His dance was so awesome that the entire crowd stood up with him and did the dance, too.
A M A Z I N G !!!
I hope any and all involved with the tradition that is the Voices of Hill Central tradition wake up this morning feeling very proud. These kids are out of this world and the entire day is simply a festival of phenomenal. They are the greatest hosts on this planet.
I'm kicking off my Friday with more pep in my step because of them. They are an inspiration and the only regret is that these poets weren't televised for everyone to see.
Boom! Hill Central did it again!