PLEASE COME JOIN US AND HELP US SPREAD THE WORD!
AUSTIN UNDER 21 POETRY SLAM OFF!
Presented by The Texas Youth Word Collective
EVENT: Austin Youth Poetry Slam Off
DATE & TIME: Saturday, May 2, 2009 @ 7:00 pm
ADMISSION: $10 cover, $5 students, free under 5
PLACE: The Independent (fka 501 Studios)
(Corner of E. 5th & Brushy)
CONTACTS: Ron Horne (512) 632-5033
Dr. Sheila Siobhan (512) 422-6653
The time has arrived spoken word mavens. The Seventh Annual Austin Youth Poetry Slam Off is finally here!!! Teenagers throughout the Austin area have endured a season of spoken word challenges to meet one last time in a battle for four coveted spots on the Austin Youth Slam Team. The prize, you ask? A return to where it all started for the Austin youth spoken word movement, where the first Austin Youth Slam Team cut their teeth; the City of Broad Shoulders, the home of the original Deep Dish Pizza, the first African American President of the United States and . . . . Da Bears: Chicago , Illinois , for the Brave New Voices International Youth Poetry Slam Festival.
Austin youth, spilling their hearts, souls, and minds on the stage with original writing and performance, will vie for an opportunity to compete against some of THE finest young spoken word artists in the country. And if you are saying to yourself, “Aww, they’re pullin’ my leg!” or "Are they serious?", go to http://www.hbo.com/bravenewvoices/
(see the first episode online) or watch the series every Sunday night and you will see what we mean. In its six years of competing at Brave New Voices, Austin has placed Fifth once and Sixth once out of the 45 cities that send teams to this annual international event. Britain ’s Got Talent (the U.K. ’s version of American Idol)? Shooooot, AUSTIN has talent! And on Saturday night, May 2, the proof will be presented for all to see. As the immortal Vanilla Ice would say, "Word to ya mother!"
In addition to some of the hottest spoken word anywhere, YOU, as the audience will be an essential part of the action. It will be your job to cheer or jeer the judges who will ultimately choose the next youth poetry slam team to represent Austin on the international stage. Oh, and there's more. In addition to spoken word, you'll get to enjoy the stylings of our perennial resident dj, DJ F.Scott, a musicologist of the highest order as well as our fabulous host, nationally reknowned slam phenom poetess, Kim Taylor (aka Knowtorious 13). So, bring your family, bring your friends . . . heck... bring complete and total strangers off the street, if you like. But whatever you do . . . BE THERE!
Finalists in this year’s Slam Off include: Shay Harris (Reagan H.S.), Cora Lee (Austin H.S.), De’Vonte Sanders (Reagan H.S.), Margaret Olson (Cedar Park H.S.), Sheenika Medard (Hutto H.S.), Kynneth Anderson (Ellison H.S., Killeen ), Kevin Garica (Manor H.S.), Jonathan Fisher ( Sam Houston State ), Shamika Hicks ( Austin Community College ), Micah Witty and Frank Bonner (LBJ H.S.).
The 2008-2009 City Wide Youth Poetry Slam season is dedicated to the memory of Shannon Leigh, co-founder of the Texas Youth Word Collective and Austin City Wide Youth Poetry Slam, who died on June 30th, 2008 at the age of twenty. Shannon was Team Champion in 2003 and 2004, as well as a team member on the 2005 team. In 2007, she took third place in the Individual Finals of the National Poetry Slam, performing for a sold-out crowd at the Paramount Theater. She was featured on the HBO Series, "Russell Simmons Presents Def Poetry" and completed two novels, numerous poetry anthologies, and a hip-hop CD entitled "Sanctuary". Last year's Brave New Voices International Youth Poetry Slam Festival was dedicated to Shannon 's memory, and an annual college scholarship was established in her name to be awarded to one of the festival participants. This year's Austin City-Wide Youth Poetry Slam Off will include a tribute to this amazing young woman who touched so many in this community and beyond.
This event is sponsored in part by a grant from the City of Austin and the Texas Arts Commission (and you know they don't play when it comes to art!).