Young Poets of Louisville is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization which provides a safe space for young people ages 13-19 to develop themselves through the written and spoken expression of poetry.
Young Poets of Louisville works to develop socially engaged and artistic leaders with literary, public speaking, and performance skills.
Young Poets of Louisville was founded by Louisville native Mackenzie Berry, who was a senior at duPont Manual High School at the time. The program was originally fiscally sponsored by 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization the Buttafly Center and became its own independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit in January of 2016. Its first program year was the 2015-2016 program year, during which it offered 16 writing workshops, 6 individual youth poetry slams, 1 invitational youth poetry slam, and various readings and performance events.
Lance G. Newman II, Executive Director
Lance Newman is known in Louisville and beyond as a Renaissance man who founded SpreadLove Enterprise. A poet and former member of the poetry and music collective Roots & Wings, he began hosting Young Poets of Louisville’s monthly Floetic Friday Youth Poetry Slams and facilitating some of its workshops in its initial 2015-2016 program year. He now serves as executive director of the organization.
Brandon “B. Shatter” Harrison, Brave New Voices Coach
Brandon “B. Shatter” Harrison is a local poet, spoken word artist, and teacher who competed in the Brave New Voices International Youth Poetry Festival (BNV) when he qualified with his youth slam team in Texas as a young person. A former member of the poetry and music collective Roots & Wings, he coached the 2015-2016 Young Poets of Louisville BNV team along with Naiyana Williams. The team competed in Washington, D.C. in summer 2016.
Naiyana Williams, Brave New Voices Coach
Naiyana Williams first competed as a young person in the Brave New Voices International Youth Poetry Festival (BNV) in 2011 in the San Francisco Bay Area. She represented Louisville as a member of Generation iSpeak and is a graduate of duPont Manual High School. She coached the 2015-2016 Young Poets of Louisville BNV team along with Brandon “B. Shatter” Harrison. The team competed in Washington, D.C. in summer 2016.
Lance G. Newman II, Executive Director of Young Poets of Louisville
SteVon Edwards, The Creative Studio
Mackenzie Berry, Founder of Young Poets of Louisville
Azuree Dodson, Student at duPont Manual High School
Jalen Posey, Student at Central High School
Jasmine Frederick, Student at New Albany High School
Alex Edison, Student at Eastern High School
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