A Brief History

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Founded in 1984, Poetry Alive!  conducted its first show in a music hall called McDibb's in Black Mountain, North Carolina.  The audience was made up of   about 100 listeners, friends mostly.  One audience member was a teacher who saw the educational potential of the show and subsequently asked Poetry Alive! to  visit her classes.  That was our simple start.

In the 20 years since then, Poetry Alive! has added four other two-person teams to meet the demand for  shows.  Our presentations have taken us to a total audience of over 7,000,000 in all 50 states as well as the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, Saipan, South Korea, China, and Peru.  Each year Poetry Alive! now conducts approximately 2,200 performances, over 700 classroom followups, and 100 teacher workshops for  an estimated 600,000 students nationwide.  We also conduct several specialized onsite In-Services from 1 to 5 days in length each year.

Fifteen years ago we began an annual summer residency program for educators which takes place at the University of North Carolina at Asheville.  The week-long Poetry Alive! Summer Residency allows us to share all that we know about teaching poetry and performance in the classroom.  The residencies are approved for Masters level credits and CEUs. In 2000 we began conducting three  residencies to meet increasing demand.  Add to all this the Asheville Poetry Festival which Poetry Alive! produced at UNC-Asheville from 1994-1997,and you have quite a busy twenty years.

And now we're on the World Wide Web! Our changing site    includes information about all Poetry Alive! projects from the    Summer Residency to our educational books to our  poetry audio CDs for all audiences.  And of course we'have included information about our Assembly Shows and Workshops which are the cornerstone of Poetry Alive!'s success.

For more detailed information about who makes up Poetry Alive, see our Vita.  If you'd like to join the Poetry Alive! team, see our Employment page.