#UWFirstDraft is a free, non-censored, open mic & weekly reading series sponsored by Urban Word NYC. It is open to all teen poets, musicians, MCs, Urban Word alumni, and mentors. We seek to provide a safe space for artistic expression, experimentation and development across all genres. First Draft is not a workshop nor a staged show. It's the stepping stone in-between. It is open to artists of all mediums seeking to share their creative energy and unique perspective. All generations of the Urban Word community, past, present and future, are invited to share their voices, ideas and wisdom.
About Our Feature:
The 2017 Urban Word NYC slam team ranked in the Top 20's at the Brave New Voices international poetry festival in San Francisco. The team consists of Kevin Gonzalez (Queens College), Devin Johnson (SUNY Freedonia), Chelsea Allison (The New School), and Solomon Mussing. They have also completed a writing and performance workshop at Pratt Institute where they learned to incorporate voice and activism into their art. They have also competed at The Nuyorican Poets Cafe against adult New York City slam teams. Other spaces where they have competed at or performed in include but are not limited to The Apollo Theater and The Philly Youth Poetry Movement. Their work examines race, queerness, mental health, and nationalism in the face of injustice. They love to impact audiences, create important work, and eat for using food coupons. Contact them and find out more about Urban Word NYC
programs, including the youth poetry slam, at urbanwordnyc.org
About our curators:
Sofía Snow is an artist, educator, and community organizer who has the ability to see where there is lacking, and to create. In 2006, Sofía was titled the Spoken Word Artist of the Year by the Massachusetts Industry Committee Hip Hop Awards. Sofia began teaching writing workshops to her peers at just 16 years old. Sofía has taken her passions (youth work, arts, and social justice) across the US, UK and Caribbean. In 2013, the City of Boston officially resolved February 28th as Sofía Snow Day; Snow was acknowledged as Cosmopolitan Magazine‘s Fun Fearless Female for April 2013. She is currently the Associate Program Director of Urban Word NYC.
Jeffrey Ravon LeGrande is a young aspiring artist, poet, and athlete. Born in Brooklyn and raised in Spanish Harlem he found passion for his art and sports at an early age. He attends Art and Design High School and is an eager learner. Through the experiences of leadership programs, art internships, and community based sports/programs he yearns for the safety, creative exploration, and happiness of others and himself. In the future he sees himself as an educator, athlete, poet, artist and advocate.
James Larkin (aka DJ Cuddles) is a poet and performer from the Tri-State area who is currently attending St. John’s University where he is studying English. He was a member of the 2015 ConneticWord Slam team which competed in BNV in Atlanta, Georgia and was also a member of the 2015-2016 Urban Word NYC Youth Leadership Board. He has performed in spaces such as the Bushnell, Apollo Theater, Nuyorican Poets Cafe, The Emlin Theater, Summer Stage, has run workshops with ConneticWord, and is the co-founder of the first ever St. John's slam team. When he isn’t writing or performing you can probably find James running his fingers through his luxurious hair.
About the founders:
Jon Sands is a writer known for electric readings, and the author of The New Clean (2011, Write Bloody Publishing). He founded First Draft along with the Urban Word NYC Youth Board. His work has been featured in The New York Times, published widely in various journals, and anthologized in The Best American Poetry 2014. He starred in the award winning web-series Verse: A Murder Mystery from Rattapallax Films, is the co-founder of Poets in Unexpected Places, and a facilitator with the Dialogue Arts Project. jonsands.com/