For Immediate Release: August 27, 2006
Contact: Ray Dominguez at 954-628-2243 or rdominguez@writesidepoets.org
Marion Williams at 754-321-2969 or marion.williams@browardschools.com

The Write Side Poets Inc., Broward County Library & Broward County Public Schools
“Louder Than Life”
High School Poetry Slam League


October 19, 2006 - March 30, 2007

The Write Side Poets Inc., Broward County Library and Broward County Schools are thrilled to announce “Louder Than Life” High School Poetry Slam League. This soon-to be annual event will hit Broward County Libraries this year from Thursday, October 19th – Friday March 30th. Bringing together eight high school teams and 42 young poets from local Broward county high schools. This year's event will showcase some of Broward's youngest poets.

Over six months at libraries around Broward, a generation of young artists will join with educators, poets, and mentors, coming together in the culmination of this first of its kind festival. Following the writing workshops presented throughout Broward county schools, poetry teams will form to meet at this event. Schools competing at this year's event are: Coral Springs Senior HS, Piper Senior HS, Dillard Senior HS, Pompano Senior HS, Stranahan Senior HS, Western Senior HS, Blanche Ely Senior HS, and Cypress Bay Senior HS.

“Louder Than Life” High School Poetry Slam League includes teenagers 13-24 of age and embraces “The Slam” as a way to gather young poets from around Broward County to share their work with peers and a larger public audience. Celebrating our first year, this venture creates a forum and community for youth who engage literature, education and personal growth through the power of spoken word. Building bridges across diverse ethnic, racial, and socio-economic lines "Louder Than Life" supports a generation of young people speaking for themselves.


Poetry is for the mean streets, not just the ivory towers. That's the message of spoken word artists who performed Saturday at North Miami's first Poetry Festival.

''This ain't your momma's poetry,'' proclaims the Write Side Poets, run by Ray Dominguez of Pembroke Pines, which does workshops around South Florida, including some that will resume in the fall at the North Miami Public Library.

The struggle to survive amid oppression, poverty, AIDS, violence and drugs is often the theme.

''Where I come from, dreams were not deferred, they were never heard from . . . With my ballpoint pen I can have powers of upliftment,'' recites Da Youngsta, a 19-year-old North Miami Senior High graduate who grew up in Overtown and Opa-locka. His real name is Bertrand Boyd and he's now a college student in South Carolina.

That's the kind of success story that organizers are looking for said Dominguez, who led a team of Florida students to a second-place national showing at a spoken word convention in San Francisco last year.

''We teach kids how to open their brains and put it down on paper, then we teach them to get up on stage and perform,'' Dominguez said.

''The power of the emotions and the ideas came through in a very compelling way,''.

``Some teens explained that poetry is therapy to them, a way to relieve pressure, frustration, depression, as well as a chance to celebrate love and dedication.''

North Miami Beach Regional Library Director Joyce Pernicone

Tigertail Productions

Six Miami-area teenagers traveled to New York City from April 25 to 30 to compete in the 9th Annual Brave New Voices Youth Poetry Slam Festival. The festival included participants from almost 40 cities from across the country participating in workshops and readings with established poets and performers, open mikes, and the National Youth Poetry Slam itself, a competitive event. The Miami team, which includes a diverse range of some of South Florida's best young writers, was selected from participants in Tigertail's WordSpeak program.

The Miami teens were accompanied to New York by mentors Rashida Bartley, noted South Florida spoken word artist, and Raymond Dominguez, a.k.a. "Knowledge," writer, educator and founder of Write Side Poets. The teens include Carlos Diaz and Maxis Made, from Miami Senior High School; Gabriel De Los Reyes, from Coral Gables Senior High School; Diana Louissaint, from North Miami Senior High School; Troven Pearson, from Miami Jackson Senior High School; and Shameka Thomas, from William Turner Tech High School; with alternates Lawrence Gipson, from William Turner Tech, and Christy-Anne Durandisse, from Miami Senior High School.


Media Contacts: Terese “Chunky” Hill (754) 214-6571

Aavan Adkins: (754) 423-6590, email: spittfiya@yahoo.com

Local South Florida youth team takes Top honors in the largest poetry slam in History

Brave New Voices: International Youth Poetry Slam April 20-23rd in San Francisco, California

This event was the biggest youth literary event in the history of the United States.

San Francisco (April 23, 2005) - Local team representing South Florida takes top honors at the Brave New Voices: The International Poetry Slam that took place in San Francisco, California April 20-23rd. Team Spitt Fi’ya, spearheaded by nationally ranked poets Terese “Chunky” Hill, Piper Senior High teacher Ches Kanno, and mentors Aavan Adkins, teacher Charlene West and Write Side Poet Founder Ray Dominguez, competed for the first time in the 8th annual international youth poetry slam festival. Team Spitt Fi’ya placed second missing the top position to the veteran New York team by less than a point. The South Florida youth team was composed of Bert “Da Youngsta” Boyd (19) from Florida International University, Curtis Steele (18) and Ashley “Blu” Bland (17) from Piper Senior High, Gabriel “Alchemist” De Los Reyes (15) from Coral Gables Senior High, and Monika “Naima” Martinez (18) from Coral Springs Senior High.

The nation’s best teenage poets from over 40 cities in the US and as far as the United Kingdom competed for a chance to make it to the finals that took place on Saturday, April 23 at San Francisco’s Masonic Auditorium to an audience of 5,000 people. Even though this was their first time competing, Spitt Fi’ya’s performances in the elimination and final rounds were solid. Their cumulative scores competing against seasoned teams from Austin, Hawaii, Los Angeles and other cities advanced them to the finals along with four other teams representing New York City, Chico, San Francisco and Ann Harbor.
Copyrights 2006 © The Write Side Poets Inc. All rights reserved. "Louder than Life" is a project of TWSP and cannot be duplicated without written permission.