julia lee poetry slam

Q+A with Rising Roaring Fork Valley Poet Julia Lee

By Renee Prince, Education Program Associate at Aspen Words
Photo Credit: Tony Cannistra 

Julia Lee says that poetry “is an art I want to spend a great deal of my life perfecting, so I better keep writing now or I’ll certainly never get enough practice.”

Julia is a student at Roaring Fork High School in Carbondale, CO. Aspen Words is committed to giving students like Julia opportunities to practice poetry! She participates in our Youth Poetry Slam project each February – taking workshops at her school with our visiting poets, Logan Phillips, Myrlin Hepworth, and Mercedez Holtry, and performing her work at the all-valley poetry slam at the Third Street Center in Carbondale. (This year, the slam is Friday, Feb 12th at 6:30pm!). She is also a founding member of FirstWord, an after-school slam poetry team that is busy creating dynamic pieces like her poem, Song

Here’s more from Julia, in her own words, about her “love affair” with poetry:


How long have you been writing poetry?
I wrote a poem about a guy named Harry who went a-courting (sat with Ms. Suzy for hours, gave her flowers, etc) when I was in first grade.  However I didn’t take poetry seriously until around my freshman year in high school, when I had to compile a notebook full of poems for class. I perhaps owe my poetic love affair to my Creative English teacher of that year: Mr. Carb, but I have always loved to write. 

What do you enjoy the most about working with FirstWord?
I enjoy having a space to get inspiration and to try out new work on others so I can gauge its effectiveness.  FirstWord keeps me writing when I might otherwise lack motivation, and I think this is priceless to becoming a better poet.  Other than those things, the most lovely thing about the group is getting to know and love all the people in it in this new and amazing way. It’s not often that you get to see the, sometimes unedited, scribbles of someone’s soul, and that is when you can really see who they are.  

What is your favorite word?
My favorite word is eleutheromania.  I love it because of its definition: a strong and insatiable desire for freedom. 

What would you say to a student who is curious about joining FirstWord?
Come join us! I know our whole group would be ecstatic to have some fresh poet blood. Also, FirstWord isn’t just slam, so don’t be afraid to come if you think slam isn’t your thing.  


If you know a high school student who would like to join FirstWord, email Renee Prince, Education Associate of Aspen Words.

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