Poetical Pondering - Finding Community Through Knowledge Commons DC

Our guest of the evening listens intently (he’s not taking a nap I swear!) as we talk poetry-shop and snack at our poetry workshop group started after a Knowledge Commons DC class.

Comfortably on couches we sit, admiring the athletic prowess of the latest batch of young toned Americans competing for a medal that will most likely end up in a sock drawer. What do you do with an Olympic Medal anyways? We focus from the television speakers forced outward, and turn to a more present voice, a voice projecting to us within the space that we occupy, the room in the picture above. We are poets, or rather we are poets-in-training! Like the Olympic athletes start somewhere eventually reaching their highest potential through movement perfectly adjusted to their sport of choice, we have been weaving our words to become practiced and confident (or just more confident) poets. 


I was a part of Knowledge Commons DC’s Performance Poetry workshop, a month long project led by Benjamin Batorsky, which ended with a performance at Bloombars after the June session. Our classes have turned into a group collaboration workshop that continues in the comfort of my living room. The participants found both kinship within our group and a chance to  engage, explore, and stretch our writing and performance muscles. We continue to meet once a week to learn from one another and grow. Just this past week one of our classmates announced she is now a published poet!

In addition, this past week our poet posse performed for the 2nd time at the Shirlington Busboys and Poets, and we continue to strive to achieve our own individual versions of poetic prowess in DC’s writing and performing community. What started out as a class of strangers with various writing and performance skills, has become a support group and poetic family of sorts.  At our last session we had a work shop with Joseph LMS Green, a well-known local artist who is helping enhance and inspire our performance abilities. Look for us around the DC area, becoming the best poets we can be!

Erika Rydberg, a D.C. transplant from the northernly lands of Boston, got involved with Knowledge Commons DC after an awesome experience in a Brookline, Mass., community skillshare during her college days. By day she works at a library and by night she can be found performing poetry, listening to music, or cooking copious amounts of vegetarian food.