On July 8, education non-profit Mighty Writers will launch a weekly video series of literary-minded musical performances called Mighty SONG Writers, produced in partnership with media platform Literary Hub. Mighty Writers teaches reading and writing to thousands of low-income and marginalized students every year and has chosen musicians that reflect the organization’s commitments to writing and diversity. The first three performers are Rhiannon Giddens, Marcus Roberts, and Phil Augusta Jackson, with more to come, including a special pilot episode by Rhett Miller of Old 97’s.
In the videos, the artists will perform several songs they wrote or covers of songs that have been important to them. In keeping with Mighty Writers’ mission of helping students learn to think clearly and write with clarity, the musicians will also talk about writing that connected with them as a kid, answering questions about influential books and teachers that led them down the path to songwriting.
“There’s never been a more important time for kids to think clearly about the world they’re living in,” says Tim Whitaker, Executive Director of Mighty Writers. “At Mighty Writers, where we teach writing to over 3,000 kids annually in economically-challenged communities, we believe that writing has magical powers, chief among them the ability to think critically and express oneself with clarity. In light of Covid-19, and unprecedented social unrest, we are doubling our efforts at Mighty Writers to reach kids and provide both guidance and venues that allow them to express what they’re feeling through the written word and are thrilled to have the support of these world-class musicians.”
“It’s almost impossible to define the border between literary songwriting and lyrical storytelling,” says Lit Hub editor Jonny Diamond. “Just ask any novelist and you’ll find a few unsung songs scrawled into the back of a notebook… Same thing goes for songwriters—take away the guitar and you’ll probably end up with a short story collection. And that’s what so important about Mighty Writers: whatever the medium, it’s a great thing to give kids the tools to tell their own stories.”
Find Mighty SONG Writers starting Wednesday, July 8th at https://lithub.com/. A new episode will launch on Literary Hub every Wednesday throughout the summer.