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WORD UP! 2014 Showcases Teen Poets

Wed, 04/09/2014 - 5:10pm


The excitement was palpable in the packed Arrington Auditorium as emcee Jim Reed genially welcomed the crowd. This was the seventh year for the competition which allows Jefferson County teenagers to showcase their poetry writing and performance skills. Students in grades 9 through 12 write and perform an original work of poetry inspired by a theme selected by the WORD UP! planning committee.  This year’s theme was “community.” Earlier this year, participating high schools held preliminary contests at their schools, and the first and second place winners competed at WORD UP!.
The performances were over, and the winners were proclaimed: first place and $300 went to Eboni Wallace of Tarrant; this was the third year in a row that Eboni had received this honor. Second place  and $200 went to Miaya Webster of the Alabama School of Fine Arts. Miaya had won third place at last year’s competition. And there was a tie for third place; Jeralyn Lankford of Clay-Chalkville and Brianna Whittsett of McAdory shared that spot, and each was awarded $150. 
In all, twelve high schools were represented at the event.  The schools included: Birmingham’s Wenonah and Woodlawn; Jefferson County’s Clay-Chalkville, McAdory, Minor, and Shades Valley/Jefferson County International Baccalaureate School; Alabama School of Fine Arts; Hewitt-Trussville; Holy Family Cristo Rey; Leeds, Tarrant, and Vestavia.

Word UP! 2014 was made possible by grants from the Alabama State Council on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts.