Brave New Words is a poetry slam project set up by myself, Stephen Murray. I am is seeking to bring Ireland's first ever team of teenage poets to perform on HBO Television's Brave New Voices Programme. A career poet myself, I have been running poetry slam workshops in secondary schools in Ireland since 2007, bringing the passion of the written and spoken word to over 30,000 students nationwide and encouraging young people to write about the issues that affect them from mental health, to sexuality, to bullying, to self image and the burden of ambition.
In 2014 Brave New Words assembled a team of Ireland's finest young poets to compete in the Brave New Voices Poetry Slam in Atlanta, Georgia in the summer of 2015. We received over 5,000 poems and in May 2014 RTE Arena broadcast the Brave New Voices Poetry Slam showcasing the best poetic talent from around the country. The five who were chosen were Iobhar Stokes from Scoil na Tríonóide Naofa, Doon, Limerick, Lucy Fitzgerald from Bandon Grammar School, Neasa McCormick from Mary Immaculate, Lisdoonvarna, Ryan Mangan from St Jarlaths, Tuam, Co. Galway and Melissa Kavanagh from Colaiste Bride, Clondalkin, Dublin.
So now we are sending them to perform on US television in the biggest youth poetry slam in the world. They are Ireland's first ever representatives at this event and this represents the opportunity for a country famed for its poets to showcase its up and coming stars on the international stage.
However, due to arts funding cuts and despite the huge opportunity to showcase young Irish poetry on an international stage we have been unable to secure any funding through the usual channels. However, we are determined to get these five young, talented poets to this event and we will make this dream come true, but we need your help so please pledge to our Fund it campaign and spread the word. We really appreciate any support you can offer.