Nobody knows how deep the talent goes in our local youth slam-poetry community better than Denver poet and youth mentor Ken Arkind. He's been on the side of young poets -- and at their side as they represent Denver at the national Brave New Voices youth slam competition on the Minor Disturbance team -- as a coach and cheerleader for many years. So if he crows a bit about his kids, it's only because he's seen firsthand how good they really are.
Now the rest of us can get a good look at the future of performance poetry in these parts at tonight's Denver Minor Disturbance 2014 Grand Slam, a benefit and showcase for the local youth slam team, which has taken top honors in the nation for the last two years, something Arkind says no other Denver team -- youth or adult -- has done before.
"This is our largest fundraiser of the year, and all of the proceeds go to sending the team to Brave New Voices to defend the world title," Arkind notes. "This is is annually one of the best nights of poetry in Denver.
"If you want to hear the true voice of a community, you need to listen to its young people, and the Grand Slam can be a good example of that for both the present and the future," Arkind says. "Minor Disturbance alumni have gone on to be featured on PBS, NPR, HBO and have been Tedx speakers, Daniels scholars, adult slam champions and -- most importantly -- college graduates."
Can the team pull off a national win for a third year? See who rises to the top tonight onstage at Su Teatro, when the top contenders for Minor Disturbance's team will be chosen.
The evening begins at 6:30 p.m. sharp and includes guest performers Kalyn Heffernan of Wheelchair Sports Camp, West Career Academy's Story Teller Non Fiction, kids from Youth on Record, as well as host Jozer Guerrero, a former Minor Disturbance poet and World Poetry Slam finalist. Admission is $6 to $12 and all proceeds benefit the team; for information, visit Minor Disturbance online or send inquiries by e-mail.
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