On Thursday 27 February 2013, Spoken Word artist Greg Frankson conducted a series of two poetry workshops for MGCI students as part of the Black History Month celebrations.

The workshops followed two very successful Spoken Word Poetry Cafe’s hosted by the Social Justice and Equity Committee. “I decided to opt for two workshops so that the skills and strategies could be passed on to a new generation and their unique talents and voices developed and nurtured,” said Mr. Alexander, the teacher organizing the workshops.

Poetry Workshop 2

Greg Frankson ran workshops to help MGCI students with their poetry and spoken word skills.
Photo: Nicholas Vadivelu

This is the second time Frankson (who goes by the stage name of Ritallin) has visited MGCI to conduct poetry workshops. “It’s really nice to be back,” he commented, “Here at MGCI I feel special roots like home.”

Frankson started off the event by performing one of his favourite poems called “Music Box.” Students appreciated the expressive spoken word poetry in many ways and it might also have touched some people personally. “He was an amazing spoken word performer,” commented Nicholas Vadivelu, a Grade 9 student, “His moving performance has inspired me to write more poetry.”

After listening to a brief lesson on the fundamentals of poetry and spoken word, students had the opportunity to write and present their own poems related to Black History Month. Frankson was very encouraging during the whole process, cheering and applauding each person as they went up to present.

Many students took away with them valuable knowledge applicable to their school courses. Along with the basics of poetry writing, students acquired the skill of working together as a team to form a group mass poem. “This greatly improved my teamwork skills,” said Lauren Chang, “I’m sure that my future projects will benefit from this experience.”

The MGCI Black History Month poetry workshops were a resounding success.  To many students, it was a valuable learning experience that they would never forget.