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By Jessenia Martinez
Benito Juarez

People from as far as Michigan and Oklahoma came to support teen poets at the Louder Than a Bomb finals at the Vic Theatre on March 10. This year’s finals was very much anticipated because of the more diverse poetry that talked about race, social networking, discrimination and stereotypes.

There were four group teams and 13 individual finalists at the event. But before the competition started, the finalists warmed by dancing and freestyle rapping. “I never thought we would get this far,” said Ivery “Poison Ivery” Johnson, a sophomore at Julian. “It’s our first year … I had a blast being here and speaking my heart out with my team.”

One of popular finalist, Keith “Blu” Warfield, a senior at TEAM Englewood, presented his poem called “Wherever you are, be a good one.” “I first started out with a team, but because of my individual scores I was chosen as a finalist and now I’m here representing Englewood,” he said.  Warfield received an average score of 9.3.

The group finalists, Whitney Young, Kenwood, Northside and Julian, heat up the stage with their passionate performances. But as everyone listened and snapped their fingers to their favorite poems, there could only be one winner.

The crowd went wild when Northside was announced the winner, with Julian in fourth place, Whitney Young as third, and Kenwood taking second place. Northside is headed to San Francisco this July to represent Chicago in the national competition.

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About The Mash

The Mash is the Chicago Tribune's newspaper and website written for teens, by teens. The paper is distributed for free each Thursday at Chicago-area high schools and is written largely by high school students.

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