This year will be the third time the organization has sent a team of poets to Brave New Voices, a national tournament and event.
Kimberly Southcott runs the monthly open mic and slam for youth poets and hopes every school in Colorado Springs will send a poet to the Final Stage event in March where this year's team will be selected.
She shared her thoughts on youth poetry and Brave New Voices in this month's Q&A.
Why is encouraging youth poets to write and share so important to Hear Here?
Encouraging youth poets to write and share is important to Hear Here because we firmly believe youth voices really matter. We want youth to be empowered to share their stories, ideas and opinions, and to know they are a powerful force in changing the world. Hear Hear also wants to build a community that supports and fosters its developing artists, which includes its youth poets.
This will be the third year Hear Here sends a youth team to brave new voices, can you tell us more about the event?
Brave New Voices is the annual international youth poetry slam festival. It involves a four day competition of youth poetry slams with teams from around the world. The festival also includes showcases for former BNV poets, writing workshops, community service events, and programs that center around how to bring about change in your community.
How can a local teenager earn a spot on this year's team?
Spots are won through our semi-final poetry slam on March 11, but the process starts much earlier. We want to encourage every school to build a place for poetry and ideally a poetry program. Eventually we would like each school to host a poetry slam and send their champion on to the Hear Here final stage slam. That requires a lot of work and we're here to help. We have several poetry clubs established in Colorado Springs and that number is always growing. We made the following chart to guide young poets through the whole process.