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EMC CPD Online: Respect the Mic (EMC_Free Twilight 15.3.22 and Writing Competition)

Deemed 'Electric and expansive' by Kirkus Reviews, Respect the Mic: Celebrating 20 Years of Poetry from a Chicagoland High School comes out February 1st with an imprint of Penguin Random House. Edited by founding member of Malika’s Poetry Kitchen, Peter Kahn, alongside renowned writers Hanif Abdurraqib and Franny Choi, and Peter’s former student – Dan 'Sully' Sullivan – the anthology is comprised of 76 poems written by current and former students of Peter’s. Contributors include song writer, Kara Jackson – Amanda Gorman’s National Youth Poet Laureate peer – who recently signed to September Records; National Student Poets Natalie Richardson (2012) and RC Davis (2021); NBA and Dancing with the Stars champion, Iman Shumpert; Nova Venerable from the Louder than a Bomb documentary; and, comedian Langston Kerman (Insecure, South Side and The Boys). Coupled with a website that has a wealth of writing prompts, videos and testimonials about the power and impact of poetry, the anthology will inspire new poems and new poets, and be instrumental in classrooms.    

Chicago-based English Teacher/Spoken Word Educator Peter Kahn has taught poetry in over fifty schools around the world. A high school teacher since 1994, Peter spent 2001-2003 teaching poetry in over thirty primary and secondary schools throughout Hackney, Lambeth and Southwark and co-founded the London Teenage Poetry Slam. He returned to London as a Visiting Fellow at Goldsmiths for the 2012-2013 school year where he created the Spoken Word Education Training Programme. He oversaw six graduate students – including award-winning writers Raymond Antrobus and Dean Atta –  as they did their training at a Waltamstow secondary school.  Peter is co-editor of The Golden Shovel Anthology: New Poems Honoring Gwendolyn Brooks and has his own poetry collection – Little Kings – with Nine Arches Press.

For this interactive virtual session, Peter will be joined by two contributors to Respect the Mic: his Spoken Word assistant Noelle Aiisa Berry, an actor/singer/dancer and entrepreneur, and Asia Calcagno, a writer who has been published in Poetry magazine and is Director of Programming at 826CHI. Peter will lead a writing workshop based on Noelle and Asia’s poems from the anthology, using videos from the accompanying website. There will be writing time; an 'open mic' for select volunteers; and a Q&A with Peter, Noelle and Asia. Teachers will walk away with a lesson plan and an array of teaching resources. 

Peter Kahn                        Noelle Aiisa Berry                            Asia Calcagno

Competition – for students

Linked to the webinar we are running a writing competition, open to all students of teachers who attend, to be judged by Peter, Noelle and Asia.

  • The competition: Write a poem inspired by the Respect the Mic anthology as modelled on the March 15th workshop
  • Who can enter? Students of any teachers attending the workshop (a maximum of three student entries per institution, to be submitted by the attending teacher)
  • Deadline: Tuesday 29th March
  • Prizes: £150 for the winning student, plus publication on the EMC website AND £150 for the teacher who submits the winning student entry
  • Judges: Peter, Noelle and Asia
  • How to submit your entry: Details of how to enter both the teacher and student writing competitions will be sent in the post-webinar email on Wednesday 16th March. 

Further details

  • This free virtual workshop is open to teachers and up to three of their students (suitable for ages 14-18), attending with their teacher, watching and participating on a single device. Teachers are welcome to attend on their own. Teachers will be responsible for the content of any contributions posted in Chat.
  • The webinar will be recorded but participants will not be audible or visible.
  • In the 'Open Mic' section, there will be an opportunity for participants to volunteer to read their work. These volunteers will be visible and audible and will be included in the recording sent out to schools. It is the teacher's responsibility to ensure all necessary permissions have been cleared, before allowing their students to volunteer. 


  • If relevant, course materials will be sent the day before the course in the email with your joining instructions. Please either print these out or have them available on screen during the session.
  • After the session you will receive a lesson plan, teaching resources and details of how to submit your entry for the competition.
  • A recording of the session will be available for 7 days after the event.
  • Respect the Mic which can be purchased here

How to book your place

  • This course is free but must be booked in advance. 
  • Bookings for this course will close at 8am on Friday 11th March, or when capacity is reached, whichever is the sooner.
  • To book a place on this course, first sign into your account on the website, or register one if you need to.
  • Click 'Book online' (right-hand column) and fill in the name and email address of the person attending the course. The joining information and post-course email will be sent to this address.
  • If you are booking for more than one teacher, please repeat the process until you have the number you require. There is no need to book additional places for students watching with you. 
  • Then hover over your basket (top right) and click checkout.
  • Please note: courses are designed to be watched by one participant only. If you want to book another place on the course, return to the course page and go through the same process. You cannot update number of places booked from within your basket.
  • Once you have booked your place, you will see a screen 'Your order was a success!' You may want to make a note of your order number. You will also receive an automatic acknowledgement of your booking.
  • Your email with all the information you need to join the session will be sent out on Monday 14th March. You will be sent a reminder on the day of the course. Please check your junk or promotions folder. Still no luck? Email

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