Presenting Jacob Grebrewold: Our Mentor (#2)

In my introductory post I briefly touched on the fact that after Emma and I had presented our poems at the Poetry Slam downtown, an older youth approached us and asked us a few questions.

“You guys were fantastic! You must be veterans at this, right?”

“Umm… nope. This is our first time.”

“No way! How old are you guys?”

“We are in grade 9…?”
“WHAAAAAT! That’s adorable! Ohmygoodnessgracious that is so awesome! You guys are going to go far… how would you guys like to workshop with me?” This is where Emma and I realized exactly what was actually happening. And so…

“Well, actually… blah blah blah… so the point is for our school project we are looking for a mento-”

“Sounds great! When can you guys meet up?”

And that is how we met Jacob.

So far, he seems really, really great. We’ve had one workshop with him so far, and it was incredible. He began by speaking about how eventually, workshops with him will leave poetry behind and just start to be about life… he actually founded the Port Moody Secondary Slam Poetry Team, and he gave us tips on how to start a club at Gleneagle (next year is coming soon!). After charming the librarians at the Coquitlam Public Library into giving us a room, he began by opening up John C. Maxwell’s 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership.

“This book is my bible. My testament. It will help you with your poetry, creating a club, and it will make your life indescribably better. When we meet again in two weeks, you guys must have a copy of this. You can either get a copy from the library or, I recommend, buy it. If you have not gotten a copy, our next workshop will be very short. Do you understand?”

“…Yes sir!”

Although this may sound harsh, I was actually surprisingly happy to hear it. It showed how serious he was and how serious he expected us to be about the whole shebang.

After putting his book away, he made us create lists of our strengths & weaknesses with regards to poetry. Upon reading them:

“Oh YES. You guys are just like me when I first started out. If I put you two together and made you black, you’d be me.”

He has a curriculum for poetry, which has four pillars, and despite only getting a taste at that first session I am excited to learn the rest. So far this whole poetry experience has been amazingly surreal; he is a wonderful mentor, everything I could have asked for, and his teachings are going to improve both Emma’s and my poetry by leaps and bounds.

He is on the right: Jacob Grebewold w/ Ralph Aguila – Beautiful Homeland

Finally… he spoke to us about the provincial competition. Emma and I have formed a team! Gleneagle, for the first time ever, is going to be represented at Hullabaloo… so if you are reading this and you know someone at Gleneagle who really wants to do Slam Poetry maybe put them in touch with Emma or myself?

The poetry train is speeding up… here we go!


  1. This is so exciting for you and Emma and our school. See my comment on Emma’s blog about the book you have to get! Congrats with coming in fourth for your first ever Poetry Slam Competition. Please share the link to your blog with Mr. Albright as well. You were meant to hook up with your mentor.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published / Required fields are marked *