"Cyphers are similar to rap battles. According to a poet from NYC, it's not about defeating or discouraging the opponent. It's about sharing your story." Shanita Jackson
Brave New Voices started in 1996, which is my birth year. As it seems, I was born to do this!
In all seriousness, Brave New Voices was not only a life changing experience, but a healing experience. Being completely surrounded by poetry, soul, and love so thick it's almost tangible is a feeling I can't even justify. I wish the world could fully understand the powers of poetry. It's incredible. We stayed at the beautiful Berkeley Campus in California. Everything we did was so liberating. We could stay out and gaze at the stars if we felt the need to. Inspiration was waiting around every single corner! The cyphers were stunning! The teams gave Asheville WordSlam so much love. The poetry.....my goodness the poetry was breathtaking. Almost every poem I heard knocked the breath out of me. It felt as if they had reached into my life and snatched a poem right out of my heart. Every time I talk about BNV I get an overwhelming sense of frustration because no matter how long I rant, no matter what I say, I cannot describe the amazing experience and the amazing people I was so fortunate to meet. I feel the need to thank BNV for the impact it made on my life.