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TWP Presents the Sixth Annual Hampton Roads Youth Poetry Festival

The sixth annual Hampton Roads Youth Poetry Slam Festival begins on February 22nd at the Downing-Gross Cultural Arts Center. Teens With a Purpose has had the distinct honor to host the festival for the past five years. This Festival has quickly become a modern day 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. More than a competition, it’s a life changing experience where each competing poet bonds and develops their skills as they form the 2014 Hampton Roads Youth Poets (HRYP) Team. These poets experience ongoing workshops and speaking engagements throughout Hampton Roads and around the country. Hampton Roads Youth Poets are mentored by peer and adult coaches to fortify their writing and public speaking skills, character development and critical facets that effect change – personally, interpersonally and socially. Six teens will be selected to represent Hampton Roads at Brave New Voices, as seen on HBO & CNN, the largest youth poetry festival in the world, this summer.

The highlights of the 2014 Hampton Roads Youth Poetry Slam Season & Festival are:

  1. Peninsula Qualifying Slam February 22nd, 2014, Downing-Gross Cultural Arts Center, Newport News

  2. Virginia Beach Qualifying Slam March 2nd, 2014, MOCA Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art, Virginia Beach

  3. Norfolk Qualifying Slam March 29th, 2014 Tidewater Community College Roper Theater, Norfolk

  4. Grand Slam Finals April 26th, 2014, Norfolk State University, Norfolk


Brave New Voices (BNV) is a week-long international festival that brings together over 500 youth from around the    country and around the globe. “Brave New Voices is truly a life-changing experience for many of our youth. It is an opportunity for them to explore a new cultural landscape while building relationships with other youth poets and leaders from around the world” said Deirdre Love, Executive Director of Teens With a Purpose. The BNV event is sponsored by Youth Speaks, a non-profit organization, and will take place in August 2014. At the four-day event, teens will attend world-class workshops and performances by renowned poets, writers, and musicians, and will participate in an Olympic-style poetry competition against teams from across the U.S and abroad. This year Philadelphia is the host city. Duplicated around the country, are smaller events such as the 2014 Hampton Roads Youth Poetry Slam Festival presented by the affiliated organizations to prepare youth in their region of the country for this awesome opportunity. TWP’s Hampton Roads Youth Poets presents literary arts education and youth programs in the areas of creative writing, spoken word and poetry for change (civic/social engagement).

Hampton Roads public school districts, art and higher education institutions have lined up in support of the 2014 Hampton Roads Youth Poetry Slam Season & Festival. The festival will feature dynamic youth poets, ages 13-19, from Hampton Roads and local youth musicians. The slam season also includes performance workshops and open mics throughout the Hampton Roads region. Top poets and teaching artists from the region and beyond will facilitate creative workshops that will nurture their growth as spoken word artists. The festival is open to youth ages 13-19, young people can inquire about the entire slam season including slams, workshops or open mics at or by calling 757-747-2679.

Register to compete in the festival here or Attend a slam, get your ticket here

Collaborative Partners include Virginia Museum of Contemporary Arts, Norfolk Recreation Parks and Open Space, Hampton Parks & Rec, Virginia Beach Parks and Recreation, Virginia Beach Public Schools, WAVY/FOX, Hot91, Crispus Attucks Cultural Arts Center, Parker Media Group, Leggwork Photography

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