Word to the Wise

Aaron Jafferis, the New Haven-based playwright and hip-hop poet, helped foment THE WORD: A Citywide Youth Poetry Jam where the youth in question are middle-school students at Columbus Family Academy and Fair Haven School. The event is now in its second year, and holds its second annual jam this Tuesday: 7 p.m. April 22 at Co-op High School (177 College St., New Haven).
The Word has also touched public high school students, who get their own citywide youth poetry jam on April 25.

Jafferis is a host of The Word events, and has worked for years on a variety of hip-hop projects with local kids. He was also the co-creator of Stuck Elevator, the new musical theater piece which was workshopped locally at the Yale Music Theater Institute and was given a full production at the International Festival of Arts & Ideas last summer. (In between those two local stints, Stuck Elevator premiered at ACT in San Francisco in April 2013).

Jafferis’ Stuck Elevator collaborator, composer Byron Au Jong, is part of a panel discussion at this year’s Arts & Ideas festival. The June 27 talk asks “Can Art Mediate Conflict?”


For the April 22 The Word youth poetry jam at Co-op, Jafferis is joined by Self Suffice the RapOet. Besides the kids from Columbus Family Academy and Fair Haven Middle School, there’ll be performers from the Solar Youth non-profit program and the from Co-op High School itself. More info on The Word is available from one of the series’ co-sponsors, the Institute Library, at home@institutelibrary.org