Hello! I hope everyone is enjoying their summer. There are three more weeks left before school starts again and I have nothing planned for the rest of summer.
Three weeks ago (July 14th-July 20th), I flew down to Washington D.C. for a poetry festival called Brave New Voices. Brave New Voices is the biggest youth poetry slam in the world. (A poetry slam is a competition at where poets read/recite/perform their original work). There were poets from all over the country and a couple from Leeds, England, Trinidad & Tobago, and Worcester, England. We were all in teams and each team consisted of 4-6 poets. There were about 400 poets at the festival in total.
Honestly, I did not think I was going to make any friends in Washington D.C. because I am not very social and I thought the whole week was going to be about the competition. After arriving and unpacking into the Potomac house, I walked down the hall and was immediately greeted by a couple of poets. I thought it was really, really weird for them to talk to me and invite me into their rooms to cypher. After my first night in BNV, everything I thought about the people there was wrong.
From July 15-16, we were relaxing, attending workshops and had a poetry event about Global Warming. From July 17-19, we all slammed. Everything that week was crazy; there were Open Mics and cyphering circles at 2 a.m., the poetry quality was crazy, and the lack of sleep everyone had was crazy. On July 18, we had a protest in a park in front of the White House called “Hear From The Children Left Behind.” There were over 100 poets getting on the mic that day just to tell the government what we had to say. On July 19, we had the Grand Slam Finals in the Lincoln Theatre.
Before that day, I’ve never shed a tear for poetry. You really have to be there to know what I mean. This was honestly the best week of my life and I’ve made some great friends that I will never forget.
Here are a couple of links with videos/pictures:
Before Brave New Voices
This summer, before Brave New Voices, I was writing and editing my poems non-stop. There were literally days where I’d wake up at 9 a.m. and write, edit, and get/give feedback until 9 p.m.
After Brave New Voices
It’s been three weeks since Brave New Voice ended and I am still not used to not being so busy. I don’t have anything planned for the rest of the summer so I’ve been relaxing and watching videos from D.C. School is starting up again so I will try to make the rest of my summer productive. Please send over any advice for me for what I should do for the rest of the summer.
I know that this is probably the longest blog ever so thank you for reading!