When 100 Thousand Poets for Change presented at the Mead Public Library on Saturday, Sept. 29, the IDEAS Academy students were already prepared. Tad Phippen Wente’s poetry seminar spent the first weeks of school writing and perfecting poems for the event. To practice reading in front of an audience, students presented their poems at Town Hall on Wednesday. With a boost of confidence, they were ready to take on open mic at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday.
The students, along with Bruce Dethlefsen, Wisconsin’s poet laureate, gathered on the terrace of the library. Nine IDEAS student readings started with Sam Priem's "Feminist Poem" and also included Raeni K., Megan A., Laquisha H., Taylor G., Julie J., Mariah H., Katie M., and Sarah K. Students heard poems from other poets, including Dethlefsen and Karl Elder of Lakeland College reading "The Houdini Monolgues". Kelsey Fick of IDEAS captured the student readers on video. Also going on during this time was the "Stacked Book Poems" activity. People entered a contest in which they must choose 5 to 8 books and make them into a poem. The event ended at 2:30 along with the book activity. North High School’s District One breakdancing group finished off the event at 3 p.m.