Opening Ceremonies for the 18th Annual Brave New Voices International Youth Poetry Slam Festival took place on Wednesday, July 18 at Emory's Glen Memorial Church.

Opening Ceremonies for the 18th Annual Brave New Voices International Youth Poetry Slam Festival took place on Wednesday, July 18 at Emory's Glenn Memorial Church.

Jeaninne Betu Kayembe from Oakland, California performs.
Jeaninne Betu Kayembe from Oakland, California, performs.
Audience members enjoy the opening ceremonies.

More than 550 young poets — who are staying on the Emory campus — are participating in the festival. For the next four days, the participants will engage in workshops and preliminary spoken word competitions.

Shannon Matesky of Youth Speaks, the organization that produces the event, hosted the opening ceremony.

Shannon Matesky of Youth Speaks, the organization that produces the event, hosted the opening ceremony.

Natalie Cook

Poet Natalie Cook, executive director and artistic director for the spoken word youth organization Atlanta Word Works, is greeted off stage after her performance.

A young man holds a microphone.
The spoken word competitions will culminate Saturday, July 18, with Grand Slam final at the Woodruff Arts Center, Symphony Hall, 8-10 p.m.
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Brave New Voices International Youth Poetry Slam Festival

July 16, 2015

Rhythm and rhyme rocked Emory's Glenn Memorial Church Wednesday, as young poets from around the world congregated for a vibrant celebration of words during opening ceremonies for the 18th annual Brave New Voices International Youth Poetry Slam Festival.