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The Poetry Center's Poet-in-Residence Matthew Conley recites "Kindness" by Yusef Komunyakaa on November 19th as a part of the Poetry Out Loud Professional Development session for teachers. We encourage teachers and students to view and use these as an example of a strong recitation when preparing for the National Poetry Out Loud competitions at the school, regional, and state levels.
Matthew Conley will be coaching schools around Southern Arizona to help students prepare for the Poetry Out Loud competition. Here is a recitation of one of his original poems "I Was Messin' Around."
Matthew Conley is the Executive Director of the Tucson Poetry Festival. He co-founded and developed the Austin Under 21 Poetry Slam and later became the first President after achieving non-profit status. Begun as an effort to give young artists an open forum for expression, the program blossomed (due to massive interest) into a Youth Literacy movement which did everything from sending teams of under-21 poets to attend national competitions to conducting poetry workshops with at-risk youth in the greater Austin area. He has worked as a teaching artist in local Tucson elementary schools, served as a poet-in-residence for Southern Arizona during the 2011 Poetry Out Loud competition, and conducted Poetry Joeys and Corrido writing workshops at the University of Arizona of Poetry Center. Conley holds an MFA in creative writing from the University of Arizona where he also teaches.