Cesar Chavez PCS Capitol Hill Campus
Cesar Chavez PCS Capitol Hill Campus
y’all remember this poem?
how could you forget!
On Monday, Sept. 8th over 20 teachers, students, and volunteers interested in participating in LTAB-DMV attended our first Teachers Meeting of the season. We’re gearing up for another exciting year of spoken word in DC area schools, and the 2015 Louder Than a Bomb DMV Teen Poetry Slam Festival is going to operate a bit differently than in the years past. Here are a few changes and announcements we made at last night’s Teachers Meeting:
There were some questions at the meeting about the poetry slam rules and if there would be any changes to those. We have not made any decisions about slam rules at this point. Further updates and announcements will be coming along each month. For now, we want all of our friends and allies in schools around the area to remain focused on recruiting more students to join their clubs and making the experience the best possible. The goal is to bring poetry out of the margins and into the center, to celebrate the power, passion, and talent of all students, and to create educational, social, and transformative experiences through creative writing and sharing in safe spaces. We need your help to make sure every student at your school feels welcome and encouraged to join the poetry club. We are focusing all our efforts this fall semester on giving teachers, staff, and students the resources and advice they need to run highly successful poetry clubs.
We will be holding Teachers Meetings monthly to provide training, professional development, and best practices among our network of poets, volunteers, and teachers.
Monday, Sept. 8, 2014
6:00 – 8:00pm
Split This Rock
1112 16th St, NW, Suite 600
Washington, DC 20036
Farragut North Metro
Interested in getting your school or students involved with the Louder Than a Bomb DMV Teen Poetry Slam Festival? Want to help lead after-school poetry clubs in the DMV area? Want to help organize the LTABDMV Festival? This meeting is for everyone who wants to be involved with LTABDMV in the 2014-2015 school year, especially teachers, administrators, and teaching artists. Email SLAM@SplitThisRock.org for more information or to sign up.
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Did you attend the 2014 Louder Than a Bomb DMV Teen Poetry Slam Festival?
Did you compete on or work with a poetry slam team at a local high school?
If you participated in LTAB-DMV 2014 in any way, please take 5 minutes to fill out this short survey about the experience. Your honest answers and candid comments/suggestions will help us improve the program. Thanks!
This survey is for students, poets, teachers, administrators, family, and friends of those involved in LTAB-DMV 2014 who attended and/or participated in any workshop, poetry slam, open mic, film screening, or other festival event.
LTAB-DMV is an annual teen poetry slam festival involving schools throughout the DMV area. LTAB was founded in Chicago in 2001 to “give youth around the city of Chicago a platform to share their stories.” The festival has since become a ‘bridge’ for young people from many different backgrounds to come together and find a common ground through their narratives. LTAB is the largest youth poetry festival in the world, featuring over 100 zip codes within the Chicagoland area. This year LTAB-DMV was a month-long event that continued through May 2014. As of right now, there are over 30 high school slam teams throughout the DMV area, however only 25 teams participated in the festival. Each team had the opportunity to slam against other teams within the five different preliminaries. The two teams that had the highest overall score at the end of the bout moved onto the next bout and eventually to the semi-finals. This cycle continued throughout the month of May until there were only four schools left: Friendly High, Wilson Senior High School, Madeira School, and this year’s Champions, Cesar Chavez PCS-Capitol Hill.
On the day of finals, May 31, 2014, there was a free block party that was open to the public. During the block party there was an MC competition as well as musical accompaniment from the CooLots, an all girl rock/soul band. The party was catered by Island Moon Catering, & Pizza, and Busboys and Poets, including delectable food fit for both meat lovers as well as vegetarians. The party quickly drew in a crowd of not only youth poets but college students as well. Personally, I enjoyed the party and I thought it was a great way to start off the day and hype people up for the finals later that evening.
Before the start of finals, LTAB-DMV coach Joseph Green and co-host Reesa Renee explained the rules of the slam and the order of events. Once they finished explaining the rules, Thomas “Vocab” Hill came to the stage to do a tribute poem for Maya Angelou. After Thomas’ performance, Quintin “Zayy” Paschall came to the stage as the sacrificial poet. The sacrificial poet is someone who is not competing in the competition but performs a piece that will be scored by the judges to calibrate their scores. The purpose of this is to warm the judges up and also to give the audience a little piece of what they can expect from the poets. Throughout the competition, poets spoke on a wide range of topics from being addicted to Chipotle, to love poems, to deportation, and gender roles and the expectations of society and still that is only a taste of what these poets had to offer. Being as though I am a 17-year-old living in the DMV area, it was really refreshing to hear my peers speaking eloquently on such raw topics.
I particularly enjoyed the group piece by Elijah and Antonio from the Friendly team. In their piece, they spoke on what society’s definition of a man was as opposed to the real definition of a man. I also thoroughly enjoyed the feature poet who was none other than Rudy Francisco, a very accomplished poet who has won the 2009 National Underground Poetry Slam, 2010 San Diego Grand Slam, 2010 San Francisco Grand Slam and that’s just to name a few. The feature poet is the equivalent to the halftime show at a football game. Rudy was given 20 minutes to perform his original pieces. I found Rudy very engaging and very authentic. Personally, I think it’s imperative that poets are as real and as genuine as possible and Rudy was both of those things. My favorite poem that he performed was about complainers.
I can honestly say that there is no better way I could have spent my Saturday than at LTAB-DMV finals. Listening to the youth’s stories and their opinions about what changes need to be made in the world gave me hope. I am no longer doubtful about the future of our youth because from what I’ve witnessed at LTAB-DMV, our future looks very, very bright. — written by Shayla Johnson, 17-year-old student, Chavez Fellowship Program, Split This Rock
Sat. May 31st, 1:00 – 5:00pm LOUDER THAN A BLOCK PARTY ($FREE)
GWU Kogan Plaza, 22nd & H Streets, NW, Washington, DC 20052
Foggy Bottom/ GWU Metro
MC Olympics | Food | Games | Performances | Featuring the CooLots, DC’s original all female Rock and Soul band
Sat. May 31st, 6:00 – 9:00pm GRAND SLAM FINALS ($15 adv/ $20 door)
Dorothy Betts Theatre, GWU Marvin Center
800 21st St, NW, Washington, DC 20052
Foggy Bottom/ GWU Metro
Featuring Slam Champion from San Diego, Rudy Francisco
And the top 4 teams from this year’s slam tournament.
Buy tickets to Finals online at LTABDMV14.eventbrite.com