The Battle to BNV

RunDSM’s 5th Annual Des Moines Teen Poetry Slam Finals


The 2017 BNV team gather together at the end of the show to congratulate each other.

Mya Alexander, Co-Features Editor

On Friday, May 5th, the 12 poets that advanced from the previously held Semi-Finals show came to the stage to see who would go to the national spoken word contest of the year, Brave New Voices (BNV). The show was held at the Drake Harmon Fine Arts Center, and consisted of three rounds. It started with the sacrificial poet, the poet that is not competing but is “warming up” the judges, D’layja Nicks of East High School. Then as the show went on judges cut the number of people from 15 to 12 for the second round, and from 12 to nine for the third and final round. After three hours filled with snaps, chants, & “Go in poet!” ringing throughout the performance hall, the six poet team with one alternate was formed.

Final Slam Participants: Davonte Binion (North), Linda Brown (Iowa State University), Chunaejah Gaines (Roosevelt), Kevin Ha (Hoover), Jazzy Johnson (East), Karriem Muhammad (North), Chloe O’Connor (Roosevelt), Jaya Trogdon (East)

2017 Brave New Voices Team: Elhondra Brazzle (East), Julio Delgadillo (North), Jalesha Johnson (East), Maddie Johnson (Roosevelt), Shaddai Johnson (Roosevelt), Miavliag Lee (Lincoln), Tiana Warner (East)