Terry Blackhawk: A Poet in Every School

Vox Populi

The Inside Out Literary Arts Program is in its fourth year at Detroit’s Marcus Garvey K-8 Academy and, thanks to a determined group of parent activists who obtained a grant from the Michigan Council for the Arts and Cultural Affairs, has added even more classrooms. It’s an honor to have genuine grassroots support from parents and community members who see firsthand how beautifully children respond to poetry.

In the Fall of 2013, principal James Hearn shared with the world his surprise about the power of poetry. “Even my football players love poetry!” This is what he told PBS NewsHour when the show sent a team to town to profile iO. It was clear in the interview: he had been skeptical. Wasn’t poetry a frill? Irrelevant? Was it worth spending precious classroom hours and budget dollars on, given the serious issues facing children growing up in one of the most impoverished…

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