‘These poets are incredible’ …’If semis are this amazing-FINALS are going to be INSANE’ …’These are some of the best ever Quest poets’….

These are all some of the comments from last night’s incredible night of youth poetry. Over 200 people came out to support the youth and to say the least…..the NEXT generation ‘came with it.’ The judges (Mike Lipset, D’Allen White, Saymoukda Vongsay, Bruce Axelrod, and Farrington) had their hands full.
Finals will be held in May 2011 – the exact date and venue to be announced soon. If ever the energy of this series had dipped – gone are the days. There was shouting, roaring laughter, foot stomping, and cheering all night long. We anticipate a sold out house for finals. MNSWA announced changes in the series this year …and from the looks of it ….things are hotter than ever.
MNSWA was in the HOUSE! along with VM hosts (Brit Brat and Laurine + DJ Mixwell) keeping the night driving. Thanks to all who made it out for this magic evening.

Congratulations to these 20 Finalists: (in no particular order)

Michelle Erdman, Zak Warsame, Kayla Stewart, Hassani Harris,

Herbert Abrams, Talia Tepinsky, Antoine Duke, Kevin Yang

John Larkins-Williams, Donte L-Collins, Emily Nuckols, Johanna Olsen

Madelyn Roseen, Aiden Morzenti, bDarius Gray, Alese Robinson, Jonathan David Allie

Matt Carlyon, Damien Mcbrier, Emily Christiansen
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These 20 poets have made a commitment to work together in a training intensive, building circles, fundraising, and performances. Fulfilling this commitment qualifies them to continue forward to qualify for the May 7th finals. Finals will have 2 rounds. In round 1 all poets will read one poem. Round two will advance the top Twelve poets. The 6 highest scoring poets will represent the MN team at the national Brave New Voices conference July 20-23rd.

In the MNSWA tradition of rotating judges each year and building on the previous year’s relationships with strong mentors – we are excited to welcome 2011 coaches Farrington Starnes and Abdi Phenomenal. Their work with MNSWA over the past 2 years and with nurturing development and mentorship in the somali community has been impressive and continuous from MNSWA’s first workshop ignited with Bedlam over 3 years ago working specifically & poetically with the Cedar Riverside Somali community. Sha Cage and E.G. Bailey will assist in the leadership and development component of the program this year.
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Next up is the SAY WORD! one day Youth Poetry Fest: May 7
Teams/groups/crews of poets from across the Twin Cities come together in a half day marathon of poetry, music, workshops, and performances. Held on Saturday May 7th from 12:00-5pm at the Minneapolis Central (dwntn) Library. Music provided by the band 2013. Youth groups ages 13-19 can participate. Four original (clean) poems are needed from each team. This is a FREE event / fun for the whole family. Winners walk away with the 2011 title + prizes.

Did we hear someone say …YOUTH POETRY IS on FIRE!

MNSWA-Keeping Poetry, Literacy, and youth literacy ALIVE in MN!

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