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Posted March 24, 2015

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AHA Welcomes World Renowned Poet & Social Activist

Bruce George, the co-founder of Russell Simmons' Def Jam Poetry, is the guest speaker for the school's annual Tax Free Poetry event Thursday.

Atrisco Heritage Academy will host its annual Tax Free Poetry event on Thursday, March 26, featuring Bruce George, the co-founder of Russell Simmons’ Def Jam Poetry. George -- who also is a social activist, writer, entrepreneur, speaker, author, educator and poet -- will provide insight into his world and emcee the event for students, teachers and faculty.

The event, which takes place throughout the the school day in the AHA gym, will showcase student poetry and will promote the power of literacy through the written word and performance poetry. Poetry club sponsor and organizer Stephanie Garcia Krenrich, a freshmen English teacher, and AHA activities director Sal Treppiedi have worked for months with the APS Education Foundation and George to bring a national figure to AHA to promote literacy.

Tax Free Poetry is in its sixth year. Other featured poets have included former Albuquerque Poet Laureate Hakim Bellamy, current Albuquerque Poet Laureate Jessica Helen Lopez, author and poet Jason Yurcic, Manuel Gonzales and Carlos Contreras.

The event first began when previous sponsor and organizer Roger Reese and Treppiedi came together with the help of Carlos Flores, coordinator at the South Valley Male Involvement Project, to give student poets local and national recognition. The event has continued to grow as it has become one of the highlights of the school year.

George is expected to speak to over 1,500 students. Several quotes attributed to him include:

  • “Let the ray of your intellect burn ignorance.”
  • “Beware of secondhand opinions.”
  • “What’s not said and done is fluent in all languages.”
  • “As a society we armed to the teeth; yet our minds are agape.”
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