The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame + Museum

Teachers Rock: Stop and Listen

Wednesday, October 24, 2012  | 4:30 – 6pm

“Stop and Listen”: Using Spoken Word and Slam Poetry in the Classroom

We hosted a special workshop inspired by the inventive wordplay of our 2012 American Music Master honoree – Chuck Berry, with guest presenters Amy Rosenbluth (Lake Erie Ink) and Kathy Lawrence (Cleveland Heights High School).  Teachers learned how to bring spoken word and slam poetry into the classroom to help students connect with learning and with themselves.  This workshop was appropriate for upper-elementary through high school teachers (Grades 4-12).


Amy Rosenbluth is a credentialed 7-12 English teacher and Co-Director of Lake Erie Ink:  a writing space for youth.  Amy has been facilitating teen poetry slams and poetry workshops since the early 1990's when she first discovered the power of spoken word.  Amy began her teaching career in the Bay Area and has been working with youth in the greater Cleveland area since 1997 in a variety of settings, both in schools and out.  Amy has been actively involved in Playhouse Square's Slam U! program since its inception and this summer chaperoned the Cleveland slam team to the Brave New Voices national competition in Berkeley, California.

Kathy Lawrence has been involved with poetry club, groups and slams in schools, since the late 1990’s.  She is a school librarian at Cleveland Heights High School where she established, and is the advisor to, the poetry club.  She says, “I do this not because I have any particular talent for poetry, but because the experience and camaraderie of our group, meets very individualized needs for a unique and eclectic group of students.”


Lake Erie Ink: a writing space for youth, was founded in 2011 by Amy Rosenbluth and Cynthia Larsen, both veteran teachers and writers. The mission of Lake Erie Ink is to provide creative expression opportunities and academic support to youth in the greater Cleveland community.  Lake Erie Ink offers after school, evening and weekend writing workshops that cover a range of topics, including, comic book personal narratives, poetry, play writing, short fiction and creative non fiction.  Lake Erie Ink also provides in-school creative writing programming and teacher support to teachers and schools throughout Cleveland.  For more information, please check out the website: