Poetry is often perceived by many as the genre of Literature, which is only accessible to specific kinds of individuals, with special artistic sensibilities. As much as we have moved away from formalistic notions of engaging with poetry, the text or written word itself, continues to be treated as an isolated substance, awaiting profound interpretation from those who are gifted with the skills of response. This article explores the importance of offering encounters with poetry which will enable sustainable transformation and growth for both teachers and students. The Talk the Poem (TTP) National Poetry Project was established to provide secondary students from across the island with the space and opportunity to engage with and recite Caribbean and British poetry, through interactive workshops and a national recitation competition. Through a series of critical self-reflective moments, core members of the TTP project attempted to determine the role and scope of the project in the lives of the secondary school teachers and students. This article reports findings on the positive and insightful outcomes of the TTP experience for teacher and student participants, deciphered through document analysis, team discussions, interviews, and surveys.
Talk The Poem Executive Committee: (L-R) Dr. Schontal Moore, Dr. Yewande Lewis-Fokum, Dr. Aisha Spencer, Ms. Althea Aikens, Mrs. Nadine Valentine