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(Norfolk, VA) – TWP fuels up for another captivating season of powerful youth voice with the Power Tour Concert Series and the 8th Annual Hampton Roads Youth Poetry Festival. The Poetry Slam competition begins on February 11th at the Slover Library and showcases young artists and emerging world changers from around Hampton Roads from ages 13-19. Inspired young writers, emcees, spoken word artists and performers take the stage to tell their stories. This is a life changing experience. Watch while each competing poet evolves throughout the season forming the 2016 Hampton Roads Youth Poets (HRYP) Team.

Hampton Roads Youth Poetry Festival has quickly become a regional tradition of competitive performance poetry that blends written tradition with lyricism, positive music and stage acumen in a way that profoundly affects and entertains youth and audiences of all kinds. Hampton Roads Youth Poets and the Festival have gained the media attention of Cox Communication and has a six episode series and a one-hour documentary capturing the 2013, 2014 Slam Festival Seasons and Virginia Current in 2015.  Six teens will ultimately be selected to represent all of Hampton Roads at Brave New Voices, as seen on HBO & CNN, the largest youth poetry festival in the world, this summer. HRYP performs their soul-quenching, thought-provoking original poetry in response to today’s issues in the region and nationally all year long.

Committed to elevating the youth voice to the stratosphere, Teens With a Purpose also presents the Youth Poet Laureate program which aims to identify young writers and leaders who are committed to civic and community engagement, poetry and performance, and leadership and education across Hampton Roads. TWP teamed up with award winning literary arts organization, Urban Word and youth organizations around the country for the Hampton Roads Youth Poet Laureate project. This project is also supported nationally by PEN Center USA and the Academy of American Poets and regionally by Senator Kenneth Alexander and Senator Mark Warner. From January 1-March 25, TWP will accept submissions from young poets, rappers, leaders and activists ages 14-19 from across Hampton Roads who are interested in representing our area as the Hampton Roads Youth Poet Laureate. Along with receiving the prestigious title of Hampton Roads Youth Poet Laureate, the winning poet will also be given a book deal from Penmanship Books to publish his or her first collection of poems, as well as a library tour. The Youth Poet Laureate will have numerous opportunities and platforms to share their powerful voices, their leadership, and love of Hampton Roads at numerous events.

The highlights of the 2016 Hampton Roads Youth Poetry Slam Season & Festival are:

  1. Preliminary Slam February 11th, 5:30-8pm, Slover Library 235 E Plume St, Norfolk, VA

  2. Qualifying Slam March 25th, 5:30-8pm, Governor’s School of the Arts 254 Granby Street, Norfolk, Virginia

  3. Semi-Finals April 8th, 5-7pm, Downing-Gross Cultural Arts Center 2410 Wickham Ave, Newport News, VA

  4. Youth Poet Laureate Book Signing & Slam, April 14th, 5-8pm, Barnes & Noble @ McArthur, 300 Monticello Rd, Norfolk, VA

  5. Grand Slam Finals April 23, 2-5pm, Chrysler Museum 245 W. Olney Road, Norfolk, VA

  6. Hampton Roads is Louder Than a Bomb Middle School Slam & Hampton Roads Youth Poet Laureate Announcement, May 6th, 5:30-8:30pm, Virginia MOCA Museum 2200 Parks Avenue, Virginia Beach, VA

About Teens With a Purpose Our mission: TWP-The Youth Movement, also known as Teens With a Purpose, is a 501(c) (3) non-profit youth development organization. Our mission is “to create a platform to empower young people to use their voices, energy, abilities and talent to demonstrate their power to effect personal change and positively impact the lives of others through the arts, peer-led programs and events. We create a safe, non-judgmental environment for self-expression for all young people as we continue to promote healthy life choices.” Simply put, Teens Cultivating the Next Generation of Leaders.” Workshops are offered in collaboration with Norfolk Recreation, Parks and Open Space at the VCM Teen Center Monday – Thursdays. For additional, information visit our website

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