Speak Truth to Power
Opportunities for Poets 13-27 years old
For the second year, Youth Speaks is partnering with the Sundance
Summit: A Mayors’ Gathering on Climate Protection to host a spoken
word competition on global warming. Whether or not you’re thinking
about global warming, or even really care about it, we want to hear
from you. What we want to know is: Do you think about global warming?
And if you do, what do you think? And if you don’t, what’s in the
way? It’s a pressing issue and we’re convinced that smart young poets
from different cities, different backgrounds, and with different
perceptions about global warming, environmental injustice, and
poverty can provide important leadership. We’re looking for poets
from across the US to speak on this issue now in a way that will get
Mayors to listen and act.
We’re hosting an event as part of Brave New Voices in San Jose on
Saturday, July 21st, that will be filmed by the Sundance Channel, and
we’re accepting poems right now to choose the ten finalists who will
perform for the opportunity to be one of 3 winners who will take home
$500 and a free trip to the mountains of Utah to perform to Mayors
from across the country in September. Last year, George Watsky
received a ten-minute standing ovation from the group of Mayors
ranging from San Francisco and Anchorage, to Seattle, Minneapolis,
and rural Georgia.
Rarely do poets have the opportunity to speak directly to a group of
political leaders and lawmakers who are there to listen. Here’s your chance.
Send us your best spoken word pieces that will help hundreds of U.S.
mayors understand how young people think about global warming (or if
you don’t, why don’t you)
Tell them the stories that only you can tell- from your community,
your neighborhood, your family, your dreams & your perspective.
Tell them what you see, and what you don’t see happening.
Tell them what you want, and want you don’t want to inherit.
Tell them what you need them to do.
These may be pieces about air so dirty your friends have asthma or
about news reports that say someday your city may sink. Or, these may
be pieces about why global warming isn’t something you have the
luxury to think about or why it’s not an issue that you are
passionate about. And if that’s the case, tell us what is? And what
would need to happen to make global warming more of a priority for you?
Why is this a contest worth entering? Ten submissions will be
selected, and those poets will be invited to compete at a special
session during the Brave New Voices International Youth Poetry Slam
Festival on July 21, 2007, in front of hundreds of people and a panel
of judges, who will select three winners from the ten.
Then, the three winning poets will receive $500 in prize money, will
be featured on the Sundance Channel’s The Green, and will be flown to
Utah this September to perform their piece at the 2007 Sundance
Summit for the attending U.S. mayors.
This is truly a chance to speak truth to power- directly- and to
inspire Americas’ mayors to go home and take action. Help them
understand what you need them to do.
They are ready, and they are listening.
How You Can Enter:
Poets between the ages of 13-27 are welcome to submit up to three
pieces of original work (each piece should be a maximum of 3:30
minutes long when performed) along with a cover sheet that includes
your name, age, place of birth, current city of residence, contact
information, and title(s) of poem(s).
Submissions can be sent via email to this email address or by
regular mail to:
Youth Speaks – Global Warming Contest
290 Division Street, Suite 302
San Francisco, CA 94103
All submissions must be received by 11:59pm Pacific Standard Time,
July 8th, 2007.
What You Can Win:
On July 12th, 2007, 10 poets will be notified that they have been
selected to compete during the special Speak Truth to Power about
Global Warming session at the Brave New Voices International Youth
Poetry Slam Festival in San Jose, California, on July 21, 2007 where
three winners will be chosen by a panel of judges on stage.
The competition will be filmed and short 2-3 minute films will be
produced and aired on The Sundance Channel’s The Green. Additionally,
up to 5 entries may be included in a Global Warming Poetry collection
produced and distributed to the mayors attending the Sundance Summit
as well as to hundreds of others mayors engaged in a worldwide
movement to end global warming
All three winners will receive a prize of $500 and will be flown, all
expenses paid, to Sundance, Utah, to perform their work at the 2007
Sundance Summit, September 9-12, 2007 and will be invited to
participate in the event, and possibly travel to a handful of other
U.S. cities as part of the Sundance Summit art exhibition and tour.
Rules and Details: The goal of this contest is to inspire political
action and to speak to those who can make a difference. The judges
will seek out constructive and truthful messages that can lead to
hope. We are not looking for poems that bash the administration.
Instead, we are looking for the real stories and the real voices that
can tell these stories.
The Sundance Summit is about influential people coming together and
working together to solve a global problem that threatens humanity.
Submissions must adhere to PG-13 language guidelines.
Poets will retain rights to reproduce and perform their work any time,
anywhere, but the Sundance Summit will own the right to reproduce all
Click here for more information about the 2007 Sundance Summit.
(Graphic design above by Geoff McFetridge.)