Diane Luby Lane’s job title is pretty straightforward. She’s the founder and executive director of Get Lit-Words Ignite, a leading arts education nonprofit dedicated to increasing literacy and stemming dropout rates among at-risk youth. Her groundbreaking curriculum, fusing classic literature with spoken word performance techniques has been adopted by schools around the country, equipping new generations of students with a powerful connection to classic literature, self-expression and the performing arts. It is a remarkable story, one in which poetry has changed the lives of countless teens.
A line of a poem can make you feel listened to and I feel like people are starving to be heard.Diane Luby LaneFounder and Executive Director, Get Lit-Words Ignite
The Get Lit Players, the organization’s award-winning poetry troupe, has performed at the White House, the United Nations and the Hollywood Bowl. They also hold the distinction of being the most watched poets on the internet, with over 300 million views and counting. In the words of L.A. Mayor, Eric Garcetti, “The Get Lit Players are changing the landscape of literacy in Los Angeles and providing a model for the rest of the nation.”
But for all the laurels and accolades she has accumulated with Get Lit’s success, none fully captures the richness and complexity of Diane’s journey to leading a dynamic and diverse movement of teen spoken word poets. Determined to understand the source of Get Lit’s success in igniting a passion for reading and writing among students whom the system has failed, Lorne sat down with Diane in Get Lit’s bustling headquarters on the border of Downtown L.A. to discuss the redemptive power of poetry and her mission to share it with the world.