Photos: Twin Cities SAY WORD! Youth Poetry Festival

Minnesota in Photos Nikki Tundel Nikki Tundel · ·

1 Sha Cage, one of the organizers of the 2012 Say Word! Youth Poetry Festival, fires up the participants before the start of the competition in Minneapolis on April 21, 2012. She describes the event as "a marathon of poetry and wild applause. It's lots of young people supporting each other." 
2 High school student Anna Inthakhot competes in the SAY WORD! Youth Poetry Festival at the New Century Theatre in Minneapolis, Minn., on April 21, 2012. 
3 Maggie McClun, 12, performs in the middle school category of the spoken word competition on April 21, 2012. "If there's something you want to say to the world, you can do that here," said McClun. 
4 Members of the team from Linwood/Monroe Arts Plus Middle School line up on stage during their spoken word performance at the New Century Theatre. 
5 High schooler Aidan O'Connor addresses the audience during the SAY WORD! Youth Poetry Festival in Minneapolis, Minn., on April 21, 2012. 
6 Donte Collins' performance showcased emotions ranging from sadness to joy. "Poetry is my life," said Collins. 
7 Antoine Duke, youth mentor with the MN Spoken Word Association, smiles as he listens to students perform their original work during the 2012 SAYWORD! Youth Poetry Festival in Minneapolis, Minn., on April 21, 2012. 
8 Sierra Williams, 13, performs a piece about wanting to be "free like a kite," but feeling held down by society. 
9 Ana Gonzalez, 16, teeters in front of the microphone during her presentation. "I like this because it's about being honest," said Ana Gonzalez, referring to the spoken word slam. "The truth is more dope." 
10 Performers reach out to the audience during the SAY WORD! Youth Poetry Festival. Sixteen teams of young poets took to the stage during the annual spoken word event.