This week in Stratford Upon Avon

The Sonnet Man is in Stratford Upon Avon, England this week.  He’s participating in the Stratford Literary Festival in honor of the 400th-year of the anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare.

Listen to his interview with the Associated Press yesterday! Thanks Newsday!   The Sonnet Man also performed live at King Edward School, to kick off his week in England. It’s the same school Shakespeare went to, more than 4 centuries ago.

Today, April 19, The Sonnet Man was at Stratford Upon Avon School in Warwickshire, England. He taught workshops and engaged a full-house of students in a performance. How about some English Tongue Twisters and a few Sonnets, Hip Hop Style?

Tomorrow, April 20, The Sonnet Man will be at the Birmingham City School of English for an afternoon workshop and evening performance. Friday, the Warwick School. And then, Friday evening, an interview with ITV Central TV.

Sunday, it’s the main event. The Sonnet Man will be attempting to rap ALL 154 of Shakespeare’s Sonnets in a Sonnet Marathon. “I am [bic] attempting the Sonnet Marathon!”

In anticipation of this Week of Shakespeare in England, the Sonnet Man has had numerous interviews with other media outlets, including the BBC. He’s also received print coverage in the Stratford Herald. Prior to leaving for England, the Herald asked The Sonnet Man to write about “What Shakespeare Means to Me” for their April edition…here’s what he said:

In one word, Shakespeare means ‘passion.’  His wordplay and use of literary devices has a special connection to the world of hip-hop.  Although our lives are centuries apart, I’ve still been able to find a connection between his works and my life. However, it was his passion to become a playwright that connects to me the most.  His success didn’t happen overnight, instead, he INVESTED in HIMSELF.  Even though his plays were initially rejected at first, he never let any transgressions stop his drive.

        Without Hamlet, there would be no Lion King.  Without R&J, there would be no West Side Story (among other Rom-Com’s).  Shakespeare’s passion inspired me to never give up on my talent and goals.  I thank The Bard for passing that trait down to me-a trait that I try to pass down to my students whiles teaching Shakespeare.  William has taught me to #WriteSomething and to #KeepWriting.         

Indeed. Let’s all remember the Bard and his beloved works, and the inspiration he has given countless works around the world.

About the author: Whitney Aguilar

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