FORT WASHINGTON'S OWN SANIYA PEARSON!
Marissa recently teamed up with 2022 YPL Imani West to shoot & edit a video for Imani's original poem titled, "My Hair My Crown"
"My Hair My Crown" is a short film that follows Imani as she explores her hair journey through the years & how her hair affects how she is perceived by the world around her. The video features Poetry and interviews recorded at the beautiful Wellspring Manor Spa and at Natural Touch Hair Studios in Upper Marlboro.
Check out the video below!
ONCE AGAIN THIS SPRING, The Dialect Poets and YPL Ambassadors in conjunction with our family at Words Beats & Life made a powerful one-day residencies at Montpelier House Museum in Laurel, Maryland as part of their, "Fighting Destiny Tour".
APRIL - NATIONAL POETRY MONTH PROJECTS
YPL PROGRAMS ARE SPROUTING EVERYWHERE! In his new role as Poetry Director for Words Beats & Life, Patrick Washington is helping to craft new Laureates for other areas outside of Prince George's County. Let's welcome these new young leaders!
SAINEY IN ACTION!
MEET THE 2024PRINCE GEORGE'S
of Prince George's County
The Inaugural Arlington County, Virginia
Youth Poet Laureate
POETS, EMCEES & CREATIVE WRITERS AGES 13 TO 19, here is your springboard to launching a career in creative writing, performance poetry & community activism! We are searching for youth leaders who are committed to civic and community engagement & promoting change through the arts. We also partner with various county entities & non profits to create opportunities for our young artists. for more info, Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
THE YOUNG POETS were especially interested in Montpelier's "Hidden Spaces" presentation, which explores the side entrances, passageways & sleeping areas for the enslaved which were tucked away throughout the mansion.
WE ALSO LEARNED the stories of resilience & resistance from our people - We learned at every year, there were at least 30 instances of runaway slaves from Montpelier.
AFTER EACH TOUR, everyone went exploring on their own, some sat outside in the courtyard, some stayed inside & asked questions of our guides, others walked along the trail surrounding the property - writing & reflecting.
WE ARE INTERNATIONAL! Here, our 2019 & 2021 Prince George's Laureates are interviewed by BBC News about The Amanda Gorman Effect
One Youth Poet Laureate. Four Ambassadors. Five youth poets who are paving the way to the future.
SANIYA PEARSON - THE 2024 PRINCE GEORGE'S COUNTY YOUTH POET LAUREATE
The Inaugural Montgomery County, Maryland
Youth Poet Laureate
DIALECT USA, LLC recognizes and celebrates the importance of the spoken, the written and the rhythmic word no matter where it originates. We realize that even though our inflections & use of language may change between age, race, gender and cultural lines, it is the sound of our VOICES that when properly harnessed, can become the most powerful tool known to humanity through shared experiences, affirmations of love, pleas for peace and declarations of being.
DIALECT OF PRINCE GEORGE’S COUNTY, MD provides artists with the space for expression and the skills for growth as practitioners of the stage arts. We understand that for many, a simple opportunity is the much needed bridge that can lead to success, and so we provide not only basic training in these areas, but we partner with additional County organizations in creating avenues & windows that will assist in cultivating full-fledged careers in the arts for both youth and for young adults.
OUR 2020 COUNTY YOUTH POET LAUREATE, MARISSA MICHEL, has proven herself to be a multi-layered artist, moving from poetry to digital art, and now to FILMAKING!
Marissa has written, directed & edited two short films titled, "Transience" and "Summer of the Cicadas" which are both selections in the experimental category of the 2022 All American High School Film Festival!!
They will screen at the AMC Empire 25 Theater in NYC this October - CONGRATULATIONS, Marissa!!
GRATITUDE GOES OUT to our 2022 YPL Imani West for the leadership, grace & creativity shown throughout her laureateship, touching hearts & minds everywhere from community centers to the Kennedy Center! Her soft-spoken yet magnetic performances has inspired hundreds across the DMV, even earning herself an internship at The White House! Way to go, Imani!
Precious Foreman (2023)
Imani West (2022) Sainey Ceesay (2021) Marissa Michel (2020) Mi'Jan Credle (2019)
Michaela Lacy (2018) Samantha Jackson (2017) and Dominique Holder (2016)
SAINEY CEESAY, OUR 2021 YPL, has continued making her mark beyond her Laureateship by lending her voice for multiple virtual events & speaking engagements. She was recently commissioned to write and perform an original poem dedicated to the grand opening of the new Hyattsville Library and absolutely blew everyone away! Everyone loved her poem so much that after her standing ovation, the PGCMLS official asked for a copy of the poem to frame in the Library's front entrance - now THAT'S how to leave an impression!
Her poetry performance begins at 39:00
CONGRATULATIONS ALSO TO OUR NEW YOUTH POET AMBASSADORS
ANGIE CASTELLANO - New Carrollton
ARIANNA BOSLEY - Brandywine
CHIMWEKELE OKORO - Upper Marlboro
DE'JUAN OUZTS-WILLIAMS - Capital Heights
NOW THE WORK BEGINS as our YPL & Ambassadors begin traveling the county sharing the stage with county officials at festivals, town hall meetings and other community events in need of a youth perspective. This is the first step to a professional career as a writer & public speaker - any organizations interested in booking any of our youth poets for any functions, please contact Patrick Washington at 301 237 6684 or Neville Adams at 240 426 2629
Saniya (Poetry S.A.P.) Pearson is the 2024 Prince George’s County Youth Poet Laureate and a 16-year-old student in Central High's International Baccalaureate program. Throughout these past few years, she has apprenticed at Words, Beats, and Life (WBL) non-profit organization. She participated in many events with this program, including performing at the 10th Annual University of Wisconsin Passing the Mic Public Showcase, the New Deal 4 Youth's Block Party, and Open Mic. In April 2023, she was awarded 1st Place in the regional Young Master's 2.0 Competition's Drama category. Later, she performed her spoken piece for the Links, Inc. regional conference. In June, she participated in a residency sponsored by the Washington Performing Arts to recreate Kennedy Center's "Cotton" at Busboys & Poets, which was later published in the Words, Beats, and Life’s WBLLit Mag Volume 2. Additionally, for the 50th anniversary of Marvin Gaye's "What's Going On" album, she was selected to perform a socially conscious spoken word at the Kennedy Center. She traveled to San Francisco to compete with the DMV Slam Team in the Brave New Voices Competition. She has performed at Bethesda Theater for the National Center for Children and Families’ fundraising gala and the National Gallery of Art. Most recently, Saniya had the pleasure of delivering a socially conscious piece at the Inaugural Legislative Day for the Prince George's County executive administration, school board, civic leaders, and elected officials. Saniya has a passion for advocacy on climate change, economic equality, mental health, legal justice equity, and reform. With that in mind, she has future aspirations of becoming a criminal defense attorney and published author. As the president of her sophomore class, she strives to be a voice for the student body, utilizing her public speaking skills from performances and competing in her school’s mock trial and tennis team.
Saniya has a passion for community service. Often, she collaborates with the Green Team, an environmental-oriented club at her school, where they brainstorm and execute new ideas to improve their community. From trash clean-ups to planning and revamping the school’s greenhouse, they made sure to leave their impact on the world. She was their main spokesperson during morning announcements in 2022, creating what is now known as Green Team News. As a result of their hard work, they were one of the Prince George’s County Public Schools winners of the 2022 Waste Division and Recycling Awards. At Central, she tutored and assisted teachers in her classes, particularly Geometry (2022-23) and Algebra 2 (2023). Many students she’s tutored have better understood the subject and improved their grades. Due to her efforts, she has accumulated over 30 service learning hours. She also assists in her church, Nothing But The T.R.U.T.H. Ministries, singing during praise and worship and teaching children's church.