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Check the Method: Spoken Word Workshop

Check the Method: Spoken Word Workshop

Every Saturday, 12-1:30 p.m. Mountain Time

Hosted by Young Chicago Authors and led by Chicago poet and author, Kevin Coval, and FAC Director and playwright, Idris Goodwin, Check The Method is Chicago’s premier writing workshop for 14-25 year olds. Come learn how to find inspiration in your daily life, write poems, and craft performances. Check The Method alumni have gone on to publish books and pursue professional writing careers. This workshop is open to all levels and is 100% free. Check The Method operates on a drop in model, so no registration is necessary. If you’re ready to write, you are welcome to join us. Check the Method occurs virtually on Zoom every Saturday.

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A workshop to find inspiration in your daily life, write poems, and craft performances.

Past Workshop Activities:

Nov. 14, 2020

Prompt #1


Eric B & Rakim Microphone Fiend


Prologue from Sweat the Technique a memoir by Rakim

As the hour approaches, I gather my thoughts and escape to a room with the bare necessities. I transform. I enter the zone.
I focus.
I stare at blank walls until they become movie screens giving me a front-row seat to the world.
I focus.
Until the Earth’s high pitch sound multiplies in my ears only muffled by my thoughts. My mind superseding body I force my life to flash before my eyes again and again. Before I know it, I’m somewhere between conscious and subconscious. My universal awareness heightens.
I focus.
Seeing vicariously through everyone’s eyes. I can astral project to any place, any time. Past, present, and future. Try to tap into that divine universal source of knowledge until my art speaks as many languages as possible. Try to broaden my horizons and in return achieve omnipresence.
I focus.
Then finally it hits me. The original idea.
I’m focused.


  • Write about your creative ritual
  • Write about the things you need in order to create
  • Write about an aspirational creative space you want to be in
  • Write about your optimal creative space

-Mix them up/ make it your own

Prompt #2


Ruth Forman’s This Poem from We Are the Young Magicians


Mutabaruka read Dis Poem


Write your own This Poem in your own way and in your own voice

Nov. 7, 2020

I am the city


I am NY City — Jane Cortez
Eastside — Lucy Camp
Additional Inspiration: Lupe Fiasco First Verse of Day Dreamin


Write about a place you call home, focus on the sensory detail and its particular relationship to you-your mind, body, and spirit.

I am NOT 


I am not Rodriguez — Luis Rodriguez


Additional Inspiration: Saul Williams Sha Clak Clak


Write about how the things you carry. The legacy or perceptions of you based on your age, race, name, nationality, etc, how do you see yourself, reclaim yourself.

Oct. 30, 2020


“Notes on Pasteles” by Melinda Hernandez from ​Latinext: BreakBeat Vol.4
Manifesto, or Arts Poetica #2” by Krista Franklin


Combination Pizza Hut and Taco Bell” by Das Racist

List 1:

  • Stuff that you eat that you know you shouldn’t
  • Where are your guilty pleasure spots to eat
  • Favorite spots in your neighborhood and what dishes do you get there
  • What are foods you associate with where you come from


Write about a food/food spot on your lists that holds some import in your life/in your city/ culture.

List 2:

  • Write down your favorite albums/artists
  • Write down your favorite books/authors
  • Favorite films/directors
  • Things you do better than anyone
  • Your quirks/idiosyncrasies
  • Outrageous things you think are real
  • Places/People that set a precedent and shape who you are and how you think


Write your own manifesto about yourself and your art style.