Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Railroad Park Event Will Celebrate Birmingham Teens Competing in Chicago Poetry Competition

On Sunday, August 4, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m., poets and musicians will take to the stage in the lovely outdoor setting of Railroad Park in the “Flow Tactics on the Tracks” event. The line-up includes performers familiar to Birmingham audiences such as musician and spoken word artist Sharrif Simmons, drummer John Scalici, and singer-songwriter Gabriel Tajeu. The program is a sendoff celebration for a team of six Birmingham-area teens who will compete in the Brave New Voices international poetry competition from August 7-11 in Chicago. Admission is free, but donations are appreciated.

Several of the team members have proven their mettle by winning in WORD UP!, the annual poetry competition for Jefferson County high school students sponsored by the public libraries of Jefferson County and the non-profit creative writing organization, the Real Life Poets ( RLP); the event is held at the downtown Birmingham Public Library. Eboni Wallace, a student at Tarrant High School, has won first place in WORD UP! the past two years. Miaya Webster from the Alabama School of Fine Arts placed third in this year’s competition, and Justin Wright representing the International Baccalaureate (IB) program at Shades Valley High School, placed third last year. The other members of the team are Chase Essary, also from IB, Jacob Bryant of Huffman High School, and Jordan Montgomery of Minor High School.

The team members have been working hard to get ready for Chicago—they have been honing their performances three hours a day, four days a week for the past three months. John Paul Taylor, Executive Director of Real Life Poets, stated, “The Youth Will Lead The Way. I have watched our group of youth poets transform into young emerging leaders, which is the larger goal in doing this. Birmingham will be well represented by the powerful message of Team #KnowDisclaimer. The passion, the power, the love of our city and state will shine through in each poem delivered by the team. When we started the process, we were happy to be selected...now headed into the competition, I feel confident in saying Birmingham will do extremely well. We are proud to represent you, Birmingham."

This event is sponsored by RLP, Railroad Park, and the Birmingham Public Library.

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