The spoken word: Poetry project gains momentum in Danville (via Go Dan River)

As a student learning about one’s identity, you have options like sports teams or clubs. But there aren’t many options for those with a passion for writing.

North Carolina poet Josephus Thompson III has initiated a change that will open the possibilities for students learning about themselves, the community and what they want to do with their life through the Dan River Region Poetry Project.

The Danville Regional Foundation Make It Happen grant-funded project has included a series of workshops at Danville Community College, Piedmont Community College, Averett University, area Boys and Girls Clubs and community libraries.

The $19,594 grant was awarded to Boys and Girls Club but was disbursed as a partnership effort. Forty workshops will be presented as part of the project through October. The goal is to reach 200 students and 50 educators to develop and implement a service learning curriculum using spoken word.

“I’ve been working with Danville maybe the last two or three years in different capacities. With this Make It Happen grant we were able to do it on a larger scale,” Thompson said.

Thompson has been writing poetry for the last decade. His collaboration with local educators and community organizations intends to help area youth acquire their voice. He’s been leading groups of students in the fundamental skills needed to create spoken word poetry.


Go Dan River | Josephus Thompson III

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