Teaching Roster

Southern Word, Inc.

Contact Name: Benjamin Smith


1704 Charlotte Ave
Suite 200
Nashville, Tennessee 37203
United States
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Email: Click to email

Phone: (615) 686-5456

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Through the literary and performing arts, Southern Word offers creative solutions for youth to build literacy and presentation skills, reconnect to their education and to their lives, and act as leaders in the improvement of their communities. In the 2017 – 18 school year alone, Southern Word worked with 6,855 students in 12 counties through 65 in-school residencies and clubs; 1,240 youth and adults through after school and community workshops, 416 college students in classes and workshop, and 12,717 audience members as part of 91 community performances. Programs offered by this organization include spoken word workshops, open mics, and shows; music production and songwriting workshops; a guest writer series; and the Youth Poet Laureate Program. Southern Word was one of sixteen organizations nationally selected to serve as part of a national spoken word youth development leadership cohort.

Artist Work Samples

Sample Programs Offered

Program Title: Spoken Word Poetry Residency

Program Type: Arts Integration

Program Description:

In this residency, participants focus on representing themselves effectively. Through viewing videos and reading model poems, they learn strategies for talking about and representing who they are. There is a focus on how participants may be misrepresented by their peers and their community. These writing exercises build towards a complex final piece built from simple parts. Literary devices are reviewed and incorporated into final pieces to increase the strength of the poetry. Students participate in performance exercises that increase the physical and vocal range on stage and lead to a final show or slam. Teaching artists can integrate classroom topics or specific literary devices as requested by the classroom teacher.

Lesson Plan Example: Download File

Program Title: Spoken Word and Hip Hop Showcases

Program Type: Arts Appreciation

Program Description:

Spoken Word Showcase Overview
Adult and youth spoken word artists, poets, emcees, and rappers perform a showcase representing different styles of spoken word, inclusive of a hip hop music component upon request. Performing artists talk about spoken word history, their entry and development as a spoken word artist, and their lives as artists, including their future goals.

Presentation can be preceded or followed by viewings of spoken word performances by other artists and question, answer sessions in large or small groups, and short writing exercises to give participants a taste of the art form.

Lesson Plan Example: Download File

Program Title: Spoken Word and Slam Experience Professional Development

Program Type: Arts Appreciation

Program Description:

The spoken word and slam experience is opportunity to introduce teachers to spoken word as an educational tool for their classroom. In this session, we set context for spoken word within contemporary culture. We model method(s) for viewing, reading, and discussing spoken word videos and poetry. Teachers will experience writing and performing spoken word individually and as a group.

Lesson Plan Example: Download File

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