Breathing Fire: May 2023

May 31, 2023

Words Heal

Mental Health Awareness Month

We've been working hard to spread the word about mental health and the healing power of Spoken Word poetry through a partnership with Take Action LA and The LA County Department of Mental Health.

Watch real students take charge of their mental health.

Through our partnership with Take Action LA and The LA County Department of Mental Health, we created this special playlist (with more coming soon!) highlighting the power of poetry and expression of young Angelenos at the Classic Slam. The inspiring way they embrace their experiences and claim their stories truly uplifts our whole community!

Classic Slam x Mental Health Panel

This month, we held a special event with Take Action LA and The LA County Department of Mental Health at the William Morris Endeavor screening room in Beverly Hills. Attendees and participants from the Classic Slam and Get Lit community were invited to discuss their experiences with mental health through the lens of poetry.  Attendees also had the chance to watch a special cut of the movie Our Words Collide, which highlighted the healing affect of poetry on mental health.

The event also included a panel discussion, moderated by acclaimed novelist Héctor Tobar, with Our Words Collide director Jordan Barrow, Our Words Collide subject and former Get Lit Player Amari Turner, and current Get Lit Player Sam Luo.  Together, the group discussed their thoughts on the movie, Spoken Word, and how poetry can turn pain into power.  After the panel, three Classic Slam participants (Lila Abercrombie, Jessica Thompson, and Ashley Tahay) performed their poems from the Classic Slam about mental health as a dazzling finale.

Here’s a full write-up of the event by news outlet Nerds of Color!

Salome Agbaroji

Get Lit Player, Incoming Freshman at Harvard, and the new United States Youth Poet Laureate!

The title once held by Amanda Gorman has just been passed to our own Salome Agbaroji. A part of the Get Lit community since the Covid-19 lockdown, Salome has been a joy to watch grow as an artist and human while performing at venues like the Mayor's Fund, the HFPA Philanthropy Gala, and as a Vans shoes ambassador.

"I have found a home at Get Lit. It is more than a poetry organization. It's a center for youth professional development. It's a safe haven to explore identity and self-acceptance. It's a family. As I embark on the next chapter of my life, graduating high school to explore college and beyond, the continued support from Get Lit staff and partners empowers me through every step I take. Although I do not know what the future looks like, this community makes my dark path a little more...LIT."
- Salome Agbaroji, 2023 Youth Poet Laureate of the United States

Beyond Los Angeles

The Santa Barbara County Education Office joined the Get Lit wave this month by hosting their very own Classic Slam! After going through the Get Lit program in their classrooms, students from across the county gathered together to share their powerful Spoken Word poetry and claim their stories as a community.

Read the article

Oh, the places they’ll go!

Congratulations to the graduating Get Lit Players and Mixtape Masterclass artists, who are off to college in the Fall!

  • Ashley Tahay, from Cleveland High School to CSUN Northridge
  • Carlos Bravo, from South Pasadena High School to Los Angeles College Of Music
  • Elora Sparnicht, from OCSA to Yale University
  • Fernanda Herrera, from Harvard Westlake to Columbia University
  • Libby Oren, from Venice High School and Santa Monica City College to UC Berkeley
  • Robert Sheldon, from Cleveland High School to Pierce College
  • Salome Agbaroji, from Gahr High School to Harvard University
  • Sam Luo, from Alhambra High School to UC Berkeley

It’s Residency Graduation season!

As the school year closes, so do the Get Lit Residencies, where our incredible Teaching Artists coach a classroom through the Get Lit Model as students write and perform their own Spoken Word poetry. Now that students have claimed, crafted, and practiced their poems, our Residencies are each closing off with their own exciting graduation showcase!

Thank you to all the amazing schools who hosted a Residency with a Get Lit Teaching Artist this year!

And many thanks to all of the teachers who teach the Get Lit curriculum in their schools!

And a HUGE shout-out to our teaching artists and education staff who inspire students EVERY DAY to express themselves, to share their words, and to learn the world. They are relentless, skilled, and incredible.


Books for Pride

With all of the news going around about banned books in America, from Amanda Gorman’s The Hill We Climb to the ALA’s full list of the top banned books in America, it’s more important than ever to read works that center the experiences and stories of marginalized groups.

It’s no coincidence that many of the most frequently banned books feature LGBTQ+ stories. For Pride month, we’re asking you to take a stand by reading, discussing, and celebrating queer literature. Here’s a few places to start:


Gender Queer: A Memoir

by Maia Kobabe



by John Keene


Last Night at the Telegraph Club

by Malinda Lo

Summer School

English and Elective credits to ignite Summer learning

If you or someone you know needs high school recovery credits or are looking to get ahead, Get Lit’s UC-approved, standard-aligned Summer School classes start July 5th – and you can enroll up until July 4th.

These UC-approved courses are free for students who live in Los Angeles, Ventura, Kern, San Bernardino and Orange County (excluding those enrolled in LAUSD) and $750 for everyone else.

Sign up today

Our very own Teaching Artist Alex Alpharoah is a new dad! (Sounds like it’s time for us to stock up on POET onesies for Father’s Day.



We’re so thrilled to have a brand-new member of the Get Lit family!

Dinner Party - Frenemy - GEICO Insurance

And congratulations to Teaching Artist Tiffany Snow, absolutely stealing the show in a brand new GEICO Commercial alongside stars Will Arnett and… Martin the Gecko?


(noun) a continuous sequence in which adjacent elements are not perceptibly different from each other, although the extremes are quite distinct.

“Put enough dichotomies together and you get a continuum”

the latest

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May 31, 2024

Join us for a showcase of all the talented artists, youth, programs, and voices that spring from Get Lit. A night to celebrate with family, friends, parents, and supporters of the work we do inside and outside of schools.

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April 23, 2024

OUR WORDS COLLIDE documentary about Get Lit youth poets is now available to rent or own on all cable, satellite and digital platforms including Prime Video and Apple TV!

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April 23, 2024

The Los Angeles Times featured Get Lit in their recent article all about the 'Our Words Collide' documentary and the Classic Slam.

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April 15, 2024

Get Lit was featured in a new article from national publication EdSource about our work in literacy education.

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April 13, 2024

Get Lit Founder and CEO Diane Luby Lane appeared on iHeart Radio's KFI Featured Segments to share about the Classic Slam.

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