Kyle "Guante" Tran Myhre is a hip hop artist, two-time National Poetry Slam champion, activist and educator based in Minneapolis. He has performed everywhere from the United Nations, to the Soundset Festival, to countless colleges, clubs, high schools, and theaters across the country, and his work has been featured on Upworthy, Welcome to Night Vale, Everyday Feminism, and beyond.
"As an educator, I believe that art—especially spoken word and hip hop—is about communication. If it's all technical mastery with no heart, or all raw emotion with no structure, it's not going to be as effective as it could potentially be. My interactive workshops are student-driven, with space for dialogue and critical questioning; we focus on both the craft of writing and the deeper craft of digging into yourself and finding something worth writing about."
Exploring Social Issues through Spoken Word Poetry
While this interactive series of workshops still covers the basics of spoken word as an art form (its history, core aesthetic elements, philosophy and more), its primary emphasis is on using writing to engage with social justice issues, political issues, history and identity in a meaningful way. Through writing prompts, critical analysis of examples, free-writing and performance practice, students will be encouraged to speak out about their lives, their world and their values, gaining valuable leadership and critical thinking skills.
Note: Residency has a Social Studies emphasis.
Introduction to Spoken Word Poetry
This interactive series of workshops introduces students to the form of spoken word poetry—its history, core aesthetic elements, philosophy and more. Through writing prompts, critical analysis of examples, free-writing and performance practice, students will find not only an outlet for self-expression and a way to engage with the issues that are important to them, but a fun, effective way to improve their writing (particularly around traditional elements of poetry—assonance, consonance, metaphor, imagery, etc.), public speaking skills and self-confidence as well.
Note: Residency has English emphasis.
Watch Guante's compelling spoken word performance. December 2013 Saint Paul Soap Boxing Poetry Slam.
Spoken Word Poetry
In this dynamic, whirlwind performance, 2-time National Poetry Slam champion Guante will perform some of his most popular and powerful spoken word pieces, taking on a wide range of characters, social issues and poetic styles. Mixing social justice with science fiction, heartfelt emotion with absurdist comedy and beautiful writing with powerful performance, Guante’s work is immediately engaging, even for students who have never seen or heard of spoken word before.
While millions of students love hip-hop, the culture’s rich history is not always common knowledge, and stereotypes run rampant. This workshop will break down the history of hip-hop—from its Afro-Caribbean roots to its South Bronx foundation to its current status as the biggest, most dynamic youth culture in the world. What is hip-hop, beyond what we hear on the radio? Who gets to define hip-hop? How does hip-hop culture affect all of us? We’ll discuss these questions and much more.
What Poetry Can Teach Us About Having Difficult Conversations
A common refrain is that "we need to have a frank and honest conversation about race in this country." But how do we actually do that? How do we challenge people while still meeting them where they're at? In this interactive workshop we'll share some tools and tactics drawn from our experiences, and also from the world of poetry and performance.
Introduction to Spoken Word Poetry
This workshop will introduce students to the form of spoken word poetry through numerous dynamic examples and critical discussion. We’ll discuss what other forms spoken word draws from, engage in a writing activity and share ways that interested students can learn more and try it out for themselves.
Zooming In: Art as a Catalyst for Action
In a world that demands action, how can an arts-conscious approach help everyone become a catalyst, and plug into movement-building efforts? What lessons about activism and advocacy can we draw from how artists engage with issues-- or from the creative process itself? How might we "zoom in" in order to make our sometimes abstract values, principles, and missions statements really "live" in the world in a concrete way via practice and policy?
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