Saturday, June 28, 2008

Sante Fe Indian School's Spoken Word Poetry Team

I try not to go off the topic of Stamford too often- this blog is called Stamford Talk, after all- but there is an article in the NY Times about a college friend of mine, Tim McLaughlin. Tim coaches the spoken word poetry team at Sante Fe Indian School. He started it as a club, and now the kids travel around and compete at events from DC to San Francisco. An HBO camera crew is currently following the team around, so when the documentary comes out, you'll have the inside scoop.

The team is receiving a lot of attention for their poetry because of the incredibly interesting cultural issues the kids deal with, such as the conflict over whether to stay in their communities, which are very tightly-knit, or go to college, which could be seen as abandoning the traditional ways. Tribes need people to stay to learn the language, songs, and stories. I interviewed Tim for several hours last year for an article I wrote about him for our college alumni magazine. He had so many stories and thoughts, way too many for my 750 word article to address. I'm glad HBO is going to get the story on film.

You can hear the kids' poetry and see photos at the Times multimedia site. I am so proud and impressed of the work Tim and his students are doing. Here is a photo of Tim; sometimes he performs with his students. How 'bout them braids, on a basketball playing Irish boy from Va.?


Manager Mom said...

OMG... is that his real hair?

what a cool thing he's doing.

Stamford Talk said...

Hee hee! My sis turned to me when she read my post and said the exact same thing.