2nd Verse : The Rebirth of Poetry
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2nd Verse : The Rebirth of Poetry

USA, 2007, 79 Minute Running Time
Genre/Subjects: Activism, Arts & Literature, Black / African American, Documentary, Gay, Latino/a, Lesbian, Local Filmmakers / Subjects, Parenting / Family, Politics, Racism, Theater / Performance Art, Youth
Program: Documentary
Language: English

DIRECTOR: Carl D. Brown

If Robert Frost or Emily Dickinson got into hip-hop when they were teenagers and went head-to-head “spitting” poems in front of a raucous live audience, the result might have been something like a youth poetry slam. Or not. But with the rising popularity of spoken word performance, today’s urban teens are letting rip with powerful, heartfelt poems that lay bare their everyday experiences, world views, opinions, frustrations, hopes, dreams and fears for all to witness. And the impact is potent—for both poet and spectator.
Following several Bay Area teens as they prepare for — and compete in — the 8th annual Brave New Voices International Poetry Slam Competition in San Francisco, 2nd Verse goes beyond the words to explore each of their lives within the Bay Area’s ethnic and economic melting pot. Drawing strength from one another, these powerhouse poets are truly transformed by their engagement with spoken word. At the heart of the film is young Yosimar from San Jose, an undocumented teen struggling with poverty and his sexuality. Sweet and surprisingly shy off-stage, Yosimar is a dynamo in front of the microphone, where he uses poetry to actively explore his gay identity and to boldly proclaim it to all who will listen.

Rarely do urban teens get the opportunity to give (clear, loud, strong) voice in our society, but the art of spoken word performance has become a true force of poetic justice.


co-presented by

Youth Speaks


The San Francisco Bay Guardian

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