I had the opportunity last month to attend the most amazing event, actually it was two events held by the same entities on the same day. The people at Dewmore Baltimore teamed up with Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) and put on two spectacular events. It was a big day for Me and My son personally because My son was being honored at one of the events.
We attended the LTAB ( Louder Than A Bomb) finals for middle and high school before attending a book release event that My son was taking part in. The LTAB was amazing, I’ve written about Dewmore Baltimore before, this local group of poets give these kids a way to express themselves unlike I’ve ever heard from minds and hearts so young.
These children write their own poems and perform them with meticulous execution. Some of the teens brought tears to my eyes in telling their life stories through their writing.
I had shared a few videos from that day below and more are available on youtube. If you go through My videos you will find even more youth poets.
The middle school and high school LTAB events were separated by a book release event called Baltimore Art Rising.
Baltimore Art Rising is a poetry anthology put together jointly by MICA and Dewmore Baltimore featuring the poetry of youth under the age of 18. My own son was one of those youth represented in Baltimore Art Rising and we were so excited to be a part of it.
The set up was really nice plus they set out a beautiful spread of appetizers and snacks. Each student who had a poem published in the anthology also had their poem turned into visual art and it was hung gallery style at MICA. The young poets had their poems turned into visual art and also received a copy that visual version of their poem framed.
One of the young women I recently introduced you to through the site was also one of the featured youth poets. You guys remember Mecca right? She was a judge for the high school LTAB finals as well.
It was so wonderful to watch the kids all lit up and beaming with pride as they walked up to accept their visual poems. I was such a proud parent. Spending the day with My son and kids his age while listening to them speak about such adult topics was eye opening. We’d like to fool ourselves into thinking they are children like we were, but they aren’t. The world they are growing up in is so different than anything we experienced at their ages and they have to stories to back it up.
Want to see more pics from the events? Check out the gallery below and remember for more videos check this link. Click a Photo to make it bigger.
Name: Mecca verdell
Sapphire: When I met you I was introduced to you as Mecca but I’ve come to know you as M E C C A ~M O R P H O S IS. How did the name come about?
Mecca: I got the name from another nickname actually, “Meccaroni” and I wondered what other words I could play around with. So it went from Meccaroni…to Meccatron…then one day Meccamorphosis was born and it sound awesome to me so I stuck with it.
Sapphire: You perform as a part of DewMore Baltimore. Can you tell us about the program and how you got involved?
Mecca: Getting involved with DewMore had to be the best experience of my life so far. I came into the program through a club they had for western high school then started writing more and more. I was looking for an outlet since Western didn’t have a theater club at the time and poetry was a perfect blend of acting and writing. Now to be a writer is a career I hope to have.
Sapphire: How long have you been writing and performing poetry and spoken word? What influenced
Mecca: I’ve been writing for little over a year now, and I owe it all to my mentors at Dewmore Baltimore.
Sapphire: You’re not a Baltimore native but you’re making quite a name for yourself in the city. Where are you from and what was it like relocating here? Did you find it easy to assimilate?
Sapphire: I’m from New Jersey and I was just starting to have a footing there but right when things started to go right it went sour with family issues and such. So having a complete new start in Baltimore was a huge change for me. Especially with Baltimore being so other worldly but then again so am I in my own way. I awkwardly felt at home as soon as I started to meet the right people.
Sapphire: You recently hosted your own open mic event for the first time. How’d you pick the name
Ryhmin Noodles? What was it like to host your own event?
Mecca: Recently I started the first independent youth open mic, and it was the most stressful time of my life. I was worried but it was nice seeing my dreams come true. I called it “Rhymin noodles” after a verse by one of my favorite artist Chance the rapper. “I should rhyme, rhyme with ramen noodles.” Its was a good success for a first open mic and I owe to my poetry family, my parents, also the owners of Breaking Bread restaurant for letting me host the show at their establishment.
Sapphire: You’re a co-host on VVC Radio? What is your show about and when is it on?
Mecca: I started co-hosting on VVC online radio in November I believe. It was right after my first interview they asked me to join with Speak, the main host of the show. The show is called Speakeasy Poetry Radio. We talking about current events in music and poetry locally and nationally every Monday at 8 on VVCRadio.com
Sapphire: What inspires you? What topics do you find yourself compelled to write about?
Mecca: I write about everything, at least I try to. Because I don’t want to be limited at all. I wanna make poem on almost every topic in a new refreshing way.
Sapphire: Switching gears a little, you’re not just a spoken word artist/writer, you’re also an activist. You marched for justice for Freddie Gray and locked yourself in a government building
overnight in the name of justice. Were you arrested? What inspired you to get involved
Mecca: I got involved because my friends needed me to but I don’t like calling myself an activist just because I got arrested. It wasn’t solely for the cause even though I was in the moment. I did it because I wanted to make sure my friends were safe. And that they weren’t hurt in way. But now I’ve been more active ever since. I’m an ambassador at LBS (Leaders of a Beautiful Struggle) where I use art to give attention to different issues. I still feel like I cant call myself an activist. Not just yet.
Sapphire: What can we expect to see from you in the near future?
Mecca: I hope to push poetry to new limits as my writing grows. I don’t wanna give to much because I have such a big mouth, but I’m working on a poetry mix tape called “Unaprosegetic.” It talks on all social issues about blackness in a new way. But I’m also making this mix tape to kind of “scratch” black lives matter poems off my list. I also have a lot of projects coming up so stay tuned.
Sapphire: Where can people follow your work? Drop them links on us.
Mecca: As I always say “you can follow me everywhere but my house” @meccamorphosis on all social media.
I told ya’ll during the summer that I had fallen in love with the youth poets of Dew More Baltimore when I got the chance to witness them performing an open mic and then attended one of their scripted productions. I was ecstatic to find out they would be performing at the Baltimore Book Festival
I made sure to get there early and was glad I did, the youth did a hour of spoken word and poetry performances before sitting down to have a panel discussion and answer questions from the crowd. They were so articulate and knowledgeable. I’m in the process of loading the videos to My youtube page. Below you get a treat, the first one that I had a chance to upload is how they started out the show and this young man will leave you with chills.