By Emily Ekstrand-Brummer, Hibbing Public Library
This weekend I was lucky enough to attend the Twin Cities
Teenlitcon in Mendota Heights because of an ALS scholarship. I had a great time,
and it was inspiring to see so many young adults be so
excited about books and authors. Many of these kids were obsessed with the
authors at the convention, and I mean OBSESSED. They were following them around
everywhere and waiting in long lines to get autographs. I would say that the
most popular author there was Gene Luen Yang, author and illustrator of the
Airbender graphic novels, so I will probably order some of these for my
I went to one session called “Introduction to Spoken-Word
Poetry” taught by the Twin Cities spoken word poet Guante. I chose this session
because I am ABSOLUTELY TERRIFIED of spoken word. I am terrified just watching
it and I was really terrified that Guante would make us all do some spoken
word. Luckily he didn’t. I wanted to see what it was about because I have heard
about a lot of libraries hosting poetry slams and clubs. He was really cool to
watch, and he shared some great online resources which I will include here. I’m
glad I went because if my teens ever tell me that they’re interested in spoken
word or doing a program I’ll know where to go to help them out.
Guante’s website:
Minnesota based program for young people:
 Button Poetry,
uploads a new spoken word video every day: