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Insideout Literary Arts Project

To See in Color

Terry Blackhawk | Posted 12.11.2014 | Detroit
Terry Blackhawk

As a white person, I will never know the sting of racial aggression, micro or macro, but I can learn to recognize my biases, to educate myself and even dare, as Rankine's brilliant work suggests, "to see in color."

Of Shoes, Awards, Patrons, and Fracture Fairies

Terry Blackhawk | Posted 12.08.2014 | Detroit
Terry Blackhawk

As I go through my recuperation, I find myself collecting the stories of friends who have been beset by the evil fracture fairy. Apparently this is a not uncommon rite of passage for those of us of a certain age.

Did They Get Your Bike?

Terry Blackhawk | Posted 11.19.2014 | Detroit
Terry Blackhawk

The first question I received when telling a non-Detroiter about my fall was, "Did they get your bike?" They? Uh oh. Urban code word strikes again. What dire scenario did this person have in mind?

Films Galore

Terry Blackhawk | Posted 08.17.2014 | Detroit
Terry Blackhawk

The cultural calendar in Detroit moves so fast these days, it seems a long time already that I enjoyed the Cinetopia Film Festival here in town. But it was only one week ago!

Sacred Woman: The Generations Continue

Terry Blackhawk | Posted 07.13.2014 | Detroit
Terry Blackhawk

It's the Saturday before Mother's Day, 2014, and I am listening for happily the third or fourth time to iO's Arzelia Williams interview and poem "Sacr...

Black History Month Musings: on Langston Hughes and the 'Best New Poets'

Terry Blackhawk | Posted 04.12.2014 | Detroit
Terry Blackhawk

African American poets gave a glimpse into what W.E.B. Dubois famously identified as 'The Souls of Black Folks.' Our students honored their poetic forbears which was also a manifesto about the importance of poetry in young people's lives.

Amiri Baraka, Alvin Aubert: On the Passing of Poets

Terry Blackhawk | Posted 03.18.2014 | Detroit
Terry Blackhawk

Weeks of hard work, revision and practice have gone into creating a blockbuster group poem of Detroit pride, affirmation, social critique -- a manifesto of youthful determination and hope for a better future, no matter what.

Detroit Student Voices: The InsideOut Wow Factor

Terry Blackhawk | Posted 02.11.2014 | Detroit
Terry Blackhawk

Looking back over eighteen years of the growth and development of InsideOut Literary Arts Project (iO), I realize that this hope has been with us all along.

Detroit Children Tell Us "Where Poetry Lives" -- on PBS NewsHour

Terry Blackhawk | Posted 01.23.2014 | Detroit
Terry Blackhawk

In the eyes of some, such as CBS's 60 Minutes, we are led to believe Detroit is akin to "Mogadishu.'' But I am proud that our work, and that of so many other committed Detroiters, paints a truer picture.

Thank You, Kresge Arts in Detroit, and Thank You, Robert Frost!

Terry Blackhawk | Posted 08.27.2013 | Detroit
Terry Blackhawk

. I am full of admiration for friends Shaun and Wes Nethercott, founders of Detroit's Matrix Theatre, who this week embarked on an inspiring six-month cross-country bicycle adventure.

GET VERSED With the Youth of InsideOut

Terry Blackhawk | Posted 07.21.2013 | Detroit
Terry Blackhawk

Shakespeare? Jazz? Poetry? Radio broadcasting? Vocal music? Video production? Yes, yes, and more yesses. All of these are coming soon, summer into fall, to Detroit teens through the Detroit School of Arts.

Reflecting on Creativity: Getting It "Right"

Terry Blackhawk | Posted 06.30.2013 | Detroit
Terry Blackhawk

Just one block away on Trumbull stands an all too typical boarded up, burned out example of Detroit's abandonment and decay. But walk a few more steps and you'll find a building of the same vintage, transformed into a beautiful, living testimony to the arts.

A Whirl of a Week in Words

Terry Blackhawk | Posted 06.22.2013 | Detroit
Terry Blackhawk

A poem in your pocket? A poem in your mind or heart? I'm happy to report that here in Detroit, The Word is thriving, and for this poet, as National Poetry Month comes to a close, it's been a whirl of a Week in Words.

Celebrate Poetry Month: Dream of Your Dreams

Terry Blackhawk | Posted 06.01.2013 | Detroit
Terry Blackhawk

It must be no accident that National Poetry Month starts on April 1st, because what are poems but a fine foolery, or a fine frenzy as Theseus would have it, in Act V of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream.

Rosa Parks' Grandfather

Terry Blackhawk | Posted 04.13.2013 | Detroit
Terry Blackhawk

Many of Detroit's youth arts organizations are intentionally carrying forward the inheritance that we honor by remembering figures like Dr. King and Mother Parks, as she is affectionately called among Detroiters.

Passing It On

Terry Blackhawk | Posted 07.10.2012 | Detroit
Terry Blackhawk

As teachers, we touch many lives. Sometimes we know the effect, but often we do not. When I received an email from a former InsideOut student, now a Teach for America trainee, I had the pleasure of spreading the word to a very special teacher.

Closing the Gap

Terry Blackhawk | Posted 08.19.2012 | Detroit
Terry Blackhawk

Like the characters in Eve Ensler's Vagina Monologues, when students claim their voices they experience self-love.

They Buried the Bully...

Terry Blackhawk | Posted 06.05.2012 | Detroit
Terry Blackhawk

The joy of Get Versed, the enthusiasm of a wonderfully diverse audience and the incredible confidence from the children is a testament to everyone who loves them, to InsideOut's poets and staff, and to the healing power of poetry.

Speak Poetry, Speak Peace

Terry Blackhawk | Posted 07.07.2012 | Detroit
Terry Blackhawk

This city, long thought too tough, is suddenly looking for solace and solutions in the art of arranging language through image, metaphor and music to capture the heart's inner song.

Beautiful in Their Resilience: Youth Voices of Detroit, Revealed

Terry Blackhawk | Posted 05.23.2012 | Detroit
Terry Blackhawk

I have long felt that our students have a somewhat different relationship to their city than children in other parts of the country, that they take Detroit as their muse and that the city actually becomes a character in their work.

Detroit Snob Appeal

Terry Blackhawk | Posted 04.23.2012 | Detroit
Terry Blackhawk

A snobberie, a soire, a sassy fashion gathering, a sip, a shop and a salute -- all of this, as well as a whole lot of poetry, will be going on Thursday, Feb. 23 in Rachel Lutz's remarkable Peacock Room in Detroit's Park Shelton Hotel.

Congratulations, Naomi Long Madgett

Terry Blackhawk | Posted 03.31.2012 | Detroit
Terry Blackhawk

We at InsideOut Literary Arts gave a cheer at the news that Naomi Long Madgett was awarded the 2012 Kresge Eminent Artist Award. She continues to be a powerful, generous force for poetry in Detroit and around the country.

David Sands

Literary Arts Program Opens Up New Worlds Of Expression For Local Youth

HuffingtonPost.com | David Sands | Posted 12.22.2011 | Detroit

In May of last year, 10 students from Detroit, including Brehonia Reese, flew to Washington, D.C., to participate in a poetry workshop led by First La...

No Song Left Unsung

Terry Blackhawk | Posted 02.11.2012 | Detroit
Terry Blackhawk

At InsideOut Literary Arts Project we witness each day the way the voices of Detroit's young people strengthen our community. The backbone of InsideOut is a cadre of dedicated creative writers who help them find their songs and tell their stories.

Echoing Art in Detroit

Terry Blackhawk | Posted 01.21.2012 | Detroit
Terry Blackhawk

Seventeen years ago, Bob Shaye, a Detroit native and supporter of my foray into poetry activism with Detroit youth, sent me a letter that changed my life.