01 December 2011

Poem: This jawn right here on street lit

This Jawn Right Here on Street Lit
by Vanessa Irvin Morris



Street Lit is all about stories:
Stories that come from real lives lived in neighborhoods where streets, sidewalks and corners interweave and intersect and connect...

Stories about human beings who walk, talk, and think, laugh, cry, and drink, fight, make love and raise kids, sometimes right on stoops and porches...

Stories about communities where money can be seemingly scarce or - found hidden underground a mainstream economy...as above, so below...

Street Lit is all about the truth:
Truths told creatively, realistically, authentically, uncompromisingly...Fuck you if you can't take a joke...because street lit's fictions are also necessary...

These truths are for the thick-boned and thick-skinned...don't read if you easily offend...read Captain Underpants or somethin'...

These truths are told in everyday language by everyday writers, thinkers, dreamers, ex-cons and wifeys ... all of them have voices screaming to be heard...
and so - 
they scream. 
and readers read and listen, regardless of who don't like it .... they readin' it, they buyin' it, they makin' New York Times Bestsellers outta it...

Street Lit is all about audacity:
The audacity for people from the hood to document their own his-stories and her-stories...

The audacity for street lit authors to read their lives and then to write that shit out...morphing reality into memory so it doesn't have to be lived anymore...

The audacity for street lit readers to read their lives reflected in story, as they gasp, laugh, ooo and ahhh, shucks BREATHE ...  all while what ... 

heightening their literacy practices, becoming more literate, because by osmosis, that's what the act of reading does ... 

so who are they to engage ...in magic, you might ask? 

They are, 
we are ... 
readers of the stories of life. 
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This poem was performed by Vanessa Irvin Morris at the  "Street Lit & Inner-City Literacy" forum, November 30, 2011, Philadelphia, PA, USA.

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