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Thursday, March 27, 2014

America SCORES National Poetry SLAM! profile: Xavier C., Arts and Technology Academy

Written by Kara Dunford
Communications Intern

On April 7, New York City will shine bright as almost 30 student poets from across the country come together for the 8th Annual America SCORES National Poetry SLAM!.

Xavier, a fifth grade DC SCORES student from Arts and Technology Academy, can’t wait to perform alongside his peers from other America SCORES affiliates.

Xavier found his poetic inspiration from his father, who is a poet himself.

“Every time when I came to one of my dad’s performances, it looked like it was a lot of fun,” he said. “I remembered some of his poems and I wanted to try it out.”

Poetry has allowed Xavier to express himself on an issue unfolding in his life right now: the decision to close his school.

“Our school is literally closing right now. I was super mad about it and I put those feelings down on paper and into a poem,” he said.

The result? A poem that garnered enthusiastic rounds of applause at the DC SCORES Poetry Slam! in December.

Xavier will perform his poem at the New York Stock Exchange, an accomplishment ATA coach Rodney Curry said is important not only for Xavier but for the team as well.

“His teammates see him being given the opportunity to perform in New York,” Curry said. “I think that will inspire them to achieve certain things and work hard toward goals that they may have.”

When Xavier performs, he engages the audience with a spirited display of emotion, as I observed while I sat in on one of his recent practice sessions.

Xavier said he doesn’t have a specific topic he always likes to write about.

“I don’t have a favorite thing. It’s just whatever comes to my gut,” he said.

This will be Xavier’s first trip to New York, at least that he can remember. In addition to meeting the other students, Xavier has another thing he is excited about.

“I’m just super excited to go,” he said. “I get to meet new people, meet new coaches. Maybe even meet famous people.”

Check out the embedded video (also HERE) to hear more from Xavier and take a sneak peek into his practice for the National Poetry SLAM!. Follow along on Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #SCORESslam14 for updates from New York.

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