Atlanta Word Works



About Atlanta Word Works

Atlanta Word Works is a program at VOX that supports, guides and provides a safe space for young artists and writers to explore the complexities and challenges of life through oral literacy, workshops and performance. We believe that the arts – as a means of developing critical thinking skills, social responsibility and creative problem solving – provide teens with the necessary tools to enter a world in need of fresh perspectives to build peace, and bring much needed change.

Atlanta Word Works Programming:

Atlanta Word Works (AWW) hosts workshops, open mics, citywide poetry slams and so much more. All of our work focuses on self-expression through poetry and performance. We are also the convener for the Atlanta team headed to the annual Brave New Voices Festival every summer.

  • Bi-monthly AWW Workshops (contact for the full schedule)
  • 10/14/17 – Open Mic at Java Monkey – 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. All are welcome!
  • 10/19/17 – First Workshop of the year at VOX

For any questions about upcoming workshops, performance opportunities and more, do not hesitate to reach out to Josie Footmon-Smith, Program Manager & Director of Atlanta Word Works at

Also, please read about Atlanta Word Works’ history and Natalie Cook, AWW’s founder below.

Natalie Cook, Founder, Atlanta Word Works

Natalie Cook is a writer, performance artist, and community organizer. She is a recent graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she obtained degrees in both English (Creative Writing) and Afro-American Studies. Natalie is also an alum of the First Wave Urban Arts program – the only collegiate, hip-hop theatre ensemble and learning community of its kind in the country.

Born and raised in Atlanta, Natalie began showcasing her gift for poetry at a very young age. And because poetry had such a positive impact on her life, she began laying the groundwork for Atlanta Word Works (501c3) when only sixteen in hopes that young people would find ways to express themselves through creative writing and spoken word poetry, just as she had.

Aside from teaching aspiring poets in Atlanta Word Works, she has also taught numerous workshops in writing and spoken word at The Global Village School, as well as at her alma mater, the DeKalb School of the Arts. Natalie was once a competing member of the Atlanta slam team she now coaches, has individually won several writing contests and poetry slams, and has performed at many venues around the country and across the globe. She has also shared the stage with artists such as John Legend, Nikki Giovanni, Saul Williams, Sonia Sanchez, and MC Lyte. Natalie premiered her own-woman show, “Some May Think Light Isn’t Heavy,” in Madison, WI in March 2013. Her most recent project, “MANIKIN,” is an interdisciplinary production that explores gender relations between Black men and Black women living in modern day America.