The event involves young people in their teens, participating as teams in a style of judged competition where you find kids responding to each other's work in a most uncompetitive way (cheering others' work as much as their own). They come from across the country. The venues are small theater spaces. A web page called UpWords calls the event a poetry party. In announcing the event this site says:
Across the land, teenagers participate in poetry slams and other events organized by teachers, schools, local poets, community organizers and youth workers. Although the slam is a competitive event, competition is de-emphasized and commitment to craft and growth in the writer as person and community member are encouraged. From these local events and programs, 4-6 poets (13-19 years old) are selected to represent their city at Brave New Voices. More than 400 young poets will participate in this year’s festival held in Washington DC July 2008 representing over 44 parts of the country and globe.Here's a link to a video of the opening ceremony: Video from the 11th Annual International Youth Poetry Slam.
Some other links:
- press release for the event (pdf)
- Festival home page
- Anouncement on the FreeinDc site.
- A blog post on the event
- Another blog post