Freehold’s 2024 Gala is sold out! Thank you all for your support!

On Spoken Word by Daemond Arrindell

On Spoken Word by Daemond Arrindell

Before there was the written word, there was the word that was spoken. This class is both modern and ancient. It is a return to the roots of poetry – the path of the griot, whose responsibility was to memorize the stories of the village and share them, but to also venture out and return with news of the world. This exchange of the internal and external, a connectivity between what is outside and inside and between us all is at the heart of the poetry.

“I think that we’re beginning to remember that the first poets didn’t come out of a classroom, that poetry began when somebody walked off of a savanna or out of a cave and looked up at the sky with wonder and said, “Ahhh.” That was the first poem.”   ~ Lucille Clifton

We will study the voices and styles of numerous poets and use what we learn to enhance our own. Each of us has a story that only we can tell in a way that only we can tell it.

“If you sound just like another poet, Poetry doesn’t need the both of you.”   ~ Twain Dooley

None of us is perfect, nor is our path. And if we sit around waiting to be worthy of writing, we will likely be waiting forever. Art is about beauty, and beauty is both complicated and complex. This class is grounded in the mantra “If I am writing, I am doing it right.” Our first goal as artists is to create. As long as we are creating, we are making progress. The more we risk, the more we grow, the more we learn, the more we improve.

“Poetry is music written for the human voice.”   ~ Maya Angelou

There is no clear universal definition of poetry and therein lies its power and magic. Poetry is both of the head and the heart. It is when a poet describes an experience that is not yours but you feel as if it is AND reading a memory you’ve never been able to put into words coming from someone else’s writing. Poetry is a vast tree with deep roots and far reaching branches. It can be playful and coy, mysterious and elusive, uplifting and affirmative and it can also be a call to action and the voice(s) of the revolution. It is monologue, comedy routine, soliloquy, elegy, and rhyme and more.

Don’t worry – whatever you bring to the table, poetry has room for it. Poetry has room for you.

“Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words.”   ~ Robert Frost

“If you write poetry, go to the ground. It should make the ancestors put down their pipes and let you tell the story.”   ~ Ruth Foreman

All levels of writers and performers are welcome. In this class, we will create “brave space” for each participant to learn and grow – from the work, from each other and through each other. It will be supportive and respectful of all identities.

“We need new words for what this is, this hunger entering our loneliness like birds, stunning our eyes into rays of hope. we need the flutter that can save us, something that will swirl across the face of what we have become and bring us grace.”              ~ Lucille Clifton


Daemond Arrindell’s Spoken Word & Performance Poetry class begins Tuesday, August 11 at 6pm. Description, full schedule and registration here.