“Listen Up! The Finale” at Dover’s Old State House on April 8, 2017

-Conclusion of the year-long spoken-word program that engages young people in Delaware history-

(DOVER, Del.—March 30, 2017)—In celebration of National Poetry Month, the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs will conclude its year-long spoken-word program “Listen Up!” with a grand-finale performance at 1 p.m. on Saturday, April 8, 2017 at The Old State House located at 25 The Green in Dover, Del. The performance will include original spoken-word compositions created by Delaware youth who have participated in “Listen Up!” workshops and performances since the program was launched in April 2016. Admission is free but, due to space restrictions, reservations are required by calling 302-744-5054.

Performers in the March 11, 2017 “Listen Up!” program at The Old State House.
Performers in the March 11, 2017 “Listen Up!” program at The Old State House.

Spoken word is an oral art-form that focuses on the aesthetics of word play, intonation and voice inflection. It includes any kind of poetry recited aloud including hip-hop, jazz poetry, poetry slams and traditional poetry readings, and can include comedy routines and prose monologues. Over the past year, participating Delaware youth have researched and developed their own spoken-word presentations based on events in Delaware history including the state’s role in the 13 Colonies’ fight for independence from Great Britain; Native Americans who have lived, and continue to live, in the place now known as Delaware; the art of sound including sampling of historic 78-rpm Victor recordings; the Underground Railroad; and women’s history. As part of their preparation for the program, the young people received instruction and guidance throughout the year from seasoned spoken-word artists including James Alexander, Brock Kalim, Marquette Shaw and the Delaware Poets Laureate, the Twin Poets. These artists will also be participating in the grand finale performance on April 8. listen-up-banner-no-tagline-compressed “Listen Up!” is sponsored by the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs in partnership with the Delaware Division of the Arts and local community organizations. The goals of the program are as follows:

  1. Provide opportunities for youth to learn, research, create and present various aspects of Delaware and Kent County history, and to learn how to compose prose and poetry in a manner that is comfortable and fun
  2. Familiarize youth with the museums of the State of Delaware and the historical knowledge that they offer to residents and visitors
  3. Create strong and positive collaborations among Delaware organizations that will enhance their presence in the community and encourage positive connections with youth in Kent County and the state of Delaware


Nena Todd
Old State House
Phone: 302-744-5054
E-mail: nena.todd@delaware.gov
Web: http://history.delaware.gov/museums/sh/sh_main.shtml

Jim Yurasek
Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs
Phone: 302-736-7413
E-mail: Jim.Yurasek@delaware.gov
Web: http://history.delaware.gov