The Words That Move You: Youth Poets are Redefining What It Means to be Young and Talented

(Team Atlanta's youth poets, coaches, and mentors.                           -- Credit: Dwayne Boyd Photography)

(Team Atlanta’s youth poets, coaches, and mentors. — Credit: Dwayne Boyd Photography)

For the last 5 years, the youth poetry organization Atlanta Word Works has fielded a team of 6 youth poets to represent the city in the annual Brave New Voices International Youth Poetry Slam Festival. This poetry competition, which can best be likened to the youth poetry Olympics, remains the largest ongoing spoken word event in the world. In fact, HBO even made an entire series in 2010 about the participating teams preparing for and competing in the festival – a platform for over 1,000 youth poets from all across the world to perform on an international stage and partake in fellowship with one another.

Team Atlanta made it as far as semi-finals in 2013, and this year, I’m fortunate enough to be one the team’s coaches. We have already selected a strong team of youth poets, and have experienced coaches and mentors training and preparing the team for the competition, but now we need the backing of our community to get us to Philly this summer for the esteemed competition.

This is where you come in. We’re running an IndieGoGo crowdfunding campaign to defray those costs, which you can check out, see me say smart things in me in, and (hopefully) contribute to via the link above. (It comes to a close on June 30th.)

If you read/watch the IndieGoGo page and are still not moved to give away a chunk of your hard-earned cash, I understand. But, then please do me a big favor and give us A dollar, A share, and A tag. These help the campaign gain exposure and make it more likely to be featured on the IndieGoGo website for more folks to see. (And you get a swanky digital badge in exchange!)

By supporting our campaign, you will be:

  • Promoting literacy and encouraging a love of literature throughout the city of Atlanta.
  • Empowering the youth, as well as amplifying the power they already possess.
  • Supporting and mentoring upcoming artists, and showing them that a life as an artist is a viable career path.
  • Building, growing, and contributing to the greater arts community and ecosystem in Atlanta.

And with your help, we’ll have the chance to put our southern city on the literary map and our team of poets upon the finals stage.

Many thanks, in advance, for all your support! You’re the best.

— Justin

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