LB The Poet aims to link students to poetry

LB The Poet aims to link students to poetry
September 20
04:00 2018

By Tevin Stinson

The Chronicle

Larry Barron, better known as LB The Poet, is known for traveling throughout the country using his voice to empower people to be proud of who they are, stand up in the face of injustice and express themselves through spoken word.

Now he is using his passion for words, writing and poetry to inspire a new generation of poets.

He is the founder of the WORD Society, a collective of performers who travel the country performing, and the Word of Mouth Wednesday Experience, a monthly showcase of local spoken word artists and performers. Next month Barron is scheduled to launch a Poetry Program at Winston-Salem Preparatory Academy High School and Middle School, and Ashley Academy for Cultural and Global Studies.

The program, which is designed to teach students how to express themselves through the performing arts, is already a huge hit among the student body at Winston-Salem Street School, a nonprofit private high school that empowers students to thrive academically, emotionally and spiritually.

Barron, who was born and raised in Winston-Salem, said he starting writing when he was student at Clemmons Middle School. He said the day after his grandmother died, his principal pulled him out of class and encouraged him to write down everything he was feeling at the time.

“Ms. Dimosick at Clemmons Middle School, I want to find her because she changed my life,” said Barron while discussing his passion for poetry.

“… She took me out of class, gave me a pen and a pad and she told me, ‘Larry, nobody can judge what you write in this pad, so write all your feelings down,” he said. “… I wrote until the end of the day and that was my first piece of poetry. It was about my grandmother.”

Barron said from that day forward, he’s always took time to write, but it wasn’t until after he graduated from high school that he let people know about his hidden talent. He said after he performed a poem called “The Letter” in Greensboro, he knew he had found his calling.

During an interview with The Chronicle earlier this week, Barron said the poem written to his father and his unborn child moved the crowd to tears.

“… There were people coming out the crowd in tears and that was my first time experiencing  anything like that. From that first performance, I was hooked. I knew that this was something that I could really do,” Barron said.

After performing at various venues in Greensboro for a few years, in 2014 Barron decided to return home and reignite the spoken word scene here. He said, “The poetry scene had kind of died off; there really wasn’t much going on.”

Barron said with the help of Tommy Priest, owner of the Coffee Park, he set out to change that. He said after performing several times at Coffee Park, one day while at work he came up with the idea for WORD Society, Word of Mouth Wednesday’s Experience, and the Word of Mouth Wednesday’s Writing Challenge.

Since starting the movement four years ago the WORD Society has performed in various states across the country. The Word of Mouth Wednesday’s Experience is a hit every month at Ambience Special Event Center, and the weekly writing challenge receives hundreds of submissions from writers, poets, artist, and performers across the country every week.

“I had 14-year-old deaf girl sign a poem and that was my wake up moment. I realized that art can really unify the community if we allow it to,” said Barron. “It’s breathtaking when people come up to you and say I made poetry cool because I don’t look like the average poet.

“… It lights a fire and makes me want to go that much harder.”

Now LB the Poet is setting his sights on introducing students in local schools to poetry. He said the idea is to challenge students at the participating schools to participate in the weekly writing challenge and eventually participate in poetry competitions against other schools at the end of the year.

At a place in time where it seems like the teenage suicide rate is at an all-time high, Barron said he felt the need to give local teenagers an outlet to express themselves. “Ultimately my goal is to spread poetry throughout the community. The vision is to have the poetry program at every school in the district,” he said.

“When you have a child that you know is shy but by the end of the workshop they’re comfortable enough to stand up in front of a room full of people and express themselves, it gives me chills just thinking about it,” said Barron. “I tell people all the time there’s nothing like being on stage and that feeling is magnified by 10 when you see a child get up and perform for the first time.

“There’s no comparison, so I’m going to consistently give back and do what I can to show them that there’s something different.”

For more information on the WORD Society, Word of Mouth Wednesday’s Experience, or the weekly writing challenge, visit Word of Mouth Wednesday’s on Facebook.

About Author

Tevin Stinson

Tevin Stinson

Related Articles


Featured Sponsor

Receive Chronicle Updates

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.



More Sponsors