For the WordUp meeting on April 4, the students had a guest speaker, Abiyah, a Cincinnati poet/hip hop artist who was also one of the judges at the LTAB semi-finals.
Tutor Zohair Hussain said, “We were talking the last couple of weeks, actually all year, on how to apply poetry in the real world.”
“Abiyah does poetry, does hip hop, runs the hip hop scene in Cincinnati,” Hussain said, “so I thought it would be great for her to come here today and talk to you guys about what it’s really like to be a living, working poet and how to be successful.”
The students were all very excited to have Abiyah with them and clapped excitedly after she was introduced.
“Thanks for having me everyone,” Abiyah started.
She shared with the students how she had started doing poetry in high school by submitting poems to a poetry book and she has few poems published in a book, but she shared that she went through some hard things as a teen and poetry helped.
“We just go through stuff in life as people, right, so, you know, you got to get that out,” Abiyah said, “[poetry] is a good way to get that out.”
She talked about how poetry helped her deal with issues with her mom and with being different explaining that she was a punk rocker.
“Now [being a punk rocker is] cool,” Abiyah said. “It was not cool in the mid-80s…so just talking about that frustration about being different and being weird and being ostracized was expressed in my poetry.”
Abiyah spoke with the students and shared some of her pieces and even answered some of their questions and then took some time to work individually with Lacy Robinson and Tyrese Adams who will be performing at the LTAB finals on April 18.