Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Youth Poetry Slam season in full swing

An announcement from the good folks at the Texas Youth Word Collective:


THEY SPEAK YOUTH POETRY SLAM - SEASON #9!Presented by the Texas Youth Word Collective
EVENT: They Speak Youth Poetry Slam
DATE & TIME: Saturday, November 13th, 2010, 3 pm
(slam sign-up from 2:30-3:00)(Writing Workshop – 2:00pm)
ADMISSION: $5 cover, free for slam participants
PLACE: Ruta Maya World Headquarters,
3601 S. Congress, Austin , Texas 78704
CONTACTS: Dr. Sheila Siobhan (512) 422-6653, Co-Director
Ron Horne (512-632-5033, Co-Director

Okay. One down, five to go. The first slam of the new season saw a slew of students from McCallum High School. What they lacked in experience they more than made up for in enthusiasm. In fact, based on her performance, one of their students is half way toward qualifying for next spring’s They Speak Slam Off. She was joined by another new voice, a freshman at UT, and a member of last year’s They Speak team. McCallum sent many new voices to this year’s slam. We can’t wait to hear more new poets with new poems from schools throughout the Austin area. Come on Round Rock; come on Del Valle; come on AISD, you’re not gonna let Pflugerville show you up are you?! We hope to see more schools send more students to compete to make a spot on the 2011 They Speak Youth Slam team to take on the world next year in the City by the Bay: San Francisco!!!

In Los Angeles this past July, your Austin 2010 They Speak Youth Slam Team out-performed dozens of other youth slam teams from across the country and around the world to make the semi-finals of the Brave New Voices International Youth Poetry Slam Festival. This team was sooooo good; they were the first Austin team to make the semi’s since 2004. They were, in a word, exceptional. Their poems were soulful, clever, and poignant; mamas were crying, boys were cheering, and tears flowed like rivers in their final bout. The team made us proud in L.A.

So, come help us continue to launch this, our 9th season of the city wide youth poetry slam - They Speak Youth Poetry Slam. This year we are back in our old house, Ruta Maya World Headquarters on South Congress. And just like when we started, we’re starting back on Saturday afternoons, we’ll be in the old spot with the old vibe, and we will be starting on time, promptly at 3pm for the benefit of those who show up on time and our venue owner. We’re still going to have the same great dj, another great host (secret released prior to the show), some of last year’s phenomenal youth poets, as well as some surprising, great new faces to rock your world as they do every year.

We are conducting writing and performance workshops by none other than National Poetry Slam Finalist, and two-time Austin Slam Champion, Christopher Michael as well as other nationally reknowned writers and performers here in the Austin area. Christopher Micael coached the 2010 They Speak Youth Poetry Slam Team all the way to the Semi-Finals of the Brave New Voices International Youth Slam Festival, an achievement that hasn't been copied since 2004. Aspiring writers and performers will have the unique opportunity to work with, and learn from, a nationally well-known and respected spoken word artist. We ask parents and teachers to encourage their children and students to attend.

We invite you to see what all the excitement is about and be inspired by the voices and leaders of tomorrow. Those participants between the ages of 13 and 19 will be eligible to compete for a spot on the team we take to Brave New Voices 2011 in the Bay Area, San Francisco, California.

Please come for an afternoon of stirring, thought-provoking poetry. This project is funded in part by the City of Austin through the Cultural Arts Division and by a grant from the Texas Commission on the Arts.

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