by Kyle “Guante” Myhre
This past Friday, 20 young poets from around the Twin Cities competed to make Minnesota’s 2009 Brave New Voices team. The BNV poetry slam, held this year in Chicago in July, brings youth poets from around the country together for a week of slams, workshops and much more.
This year’s MN team is composed of the five poets (plus three alternates) who battled their way through preliminary slams in the winter, semifinals slams in early spring, and other top poets at Friday’s Finals slam. Hundreds of young poets took part in the Quest for the Voice series this year, and when the dust settled, the top five were Brittany Delaney, Jeremy Levinger, Hieu “Chopstix” Nguyen, Aimee Renaud and Spencer Verdin.
As one of the team’s coaches (along with Khary “6 is 9” Jackson), I’m very excited about working with this group, a very interesting mix of slam vets and relative newcomers, strong writers, strong performers and all-around badass kids. Fundraising events and showcases will be held from now until BNV; for more information, be sure to check out the Minnesota Spoken-Word Assocation’s website: