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Calling all poets: 4th Teen Poetry Slam on Feb. 24

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As a part of Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month, the Northern Marianas Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence is hosting its 4th Annual Teen Poetry Slam on Feb. 24, 2015, from 5pm to 7pm at Naked Fish Bar and Grill.

According to coalition executive director Maisie Tenorio, teens ages 13 to 18 are invited to perform original poetry about teen dating violence or healthy relationships.

“The idea is to give teens a platform, an opportunity to be heard about what they see, think, and feel about relationships,” she told Saipan Tribune. “Youth have so many important things to say; we just need to take a moment to really listen to them. The Teen Poetry Slam provides that moment for them and for us.”

The Northern Marianas Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence will also be offering a poetry slam workshop for interested poets on Thursday, Feb. 19, 2015, from 8am to 12pm at Naked Fish Bar and Grill.

Tenorio said the workshop will help poets hone their presentation skills. “We were so impressed by the poetry, we decided to change the format and remove the ‘dance’ portion of the event. This year, we will focus on the poetry and open up the event so that all are welcome. We invite the community to come out to cheer for the poets, while learning about teen dating violence.”

Marianas High School student and poetry slam participant Justina Lee explained why she took part in the annual event. “I decided to join the Poetry Slam because I wanted to put my feelings toward a healthy teen relationship into a poem and let people be able to realize the emotions behind my poem. Other teens should join because it is a good opportunity to speak up for themselves and to represent teens with unhealthy relationships.”

Poem submissions must not contain real names or profanity and should include the participant’s full name, age, name of school, and contact number. Student poets can submit their poems by sending it to info@endviolencenmi.org by 5pm on Tuesday, Feb. 17, 2015, for review.

Thomas Manglona II | Correspondent

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