Rules of Engagement

Rules of Engagement

  1. ALL POEMS REVIEWED MUST BE SUBMITTED BY 11:59PM [SATURDAY] DAY BEFORE WORKSHOP. This allows facilitator time to read each poem before workshop and make their notes, prior to the discussion.
  2. BE RESPECTFUL OF TIME. Show up at 1:30pm. The workshop starts PROMPTLY at 2pm.
  3. BE RESPECTFUL OF THE COURAGE OF READERS. Although these poems are about the city, the poem could discuss matters that are very specific to culture, gender, sexual identity, and/or other factors beyond the knowledge and cultural scope of the reader. It takes a certain courage to put work out into the work. Let’s remember to be supportive.
  4. The workshop will NOT tolerate any hate speech. Leave bigotry and offending a specific group and/or sector of humanity elsewhere.
  5. CONSIDER AUDIENCE: There is no censorship, but content should be appropriate for teen audiences
  6. Also, for poems that are adult in theme, and/or have specific sensitive, and/or violent subject, a trigger warning should be given.
  7. The workshop is about critique [the honest expertise that builds up] and not CRITICIZE [an unsolicited and/or insensitive opinion that doesn’t progress the conversation].
  8. ITS OK TO DISAGREE. IT NOT OK TO ARGUE. This workshop focusses on how the poet is working, not what the poem is about. The work inside the workshop will be vetted beforehand.
  9. FACILITATOR HAS THE RIGHT TO PASS ON POEMS THAT THEY FEEL ARE INAPPROPRIATE FOR THE SAFE SPACE OF THE WORKSHOP. This workshop is not about the freedom of speech as much as it is about encourage people to write about Chicago. The facilitator knows that may mean they will be poems that present the good, bad and indifferent, but the facilitator has to be comfortable with the poem in order to critique it well.
  10. COME PREPARED. PINK & YELLOW HIGHLIGHTER. RED AND BLUE INK PENS. You can bring another color ink pen for additional remarks / notes on the copies of the poem.
  11. WE ARE NOW EACH OTHER’S LION. Participation in this workshop keeps each and everyone of us accountable for the safety of each other as we are present with one another, as well as when we are absent of one another.
  12. AVERY R YOUNG DOES NOT PLAY ABOUT WORKSHOP. It’s a sacred and special place. We are here to do the work. His approach is stern and fair. There is always room for joy, but this workshop is about helping folk create and build a work that shares all the narratives of the city.


© chicago soul poem