’Louder than a Bomb’ Poetry Slam Performances Advance J.P. Taravella Team to Semifinals


Top row, from left to right: Jada Knighton, Tae Lynch, Victoria Montalvo, David Etienne; Bottom Row: Cinthiea Moreau, Katelyn Austin, Marianne Costi, Cedar Bachmann

By: Jen Russon

J.P. Taravella High School’s poetry club took to the stage at the Florida Live Arena, earning high marks from judges at the ‘Louder than Bomb’ district-wide competition on Wednesday.

Known as the ‘Super Bowl’ of poetry slams, the event originated in Chicago 20 years ago and has since become the largest youth poetry festival globally, including students from Broward County Schools.

In 2014, ‘Louder than a Bomb’ was launched in South Florida as part of the Omari Hardwick bluapple Poetry Network and the Jason Taylor Foundation. Poets have competed ever since in live poetry performances organized by the city of Sunrise. 

Seven students from J.P. Taravella’s poetry club wowed judges. Katelyn Austin, Cedar Bachmann, David Etienne, Jada Knighton, Tae Lynch, Victoria Montalvo, and Cinthiea Moreau.

Creative writing teacher and poetry club leader, Marianne Costi, said her team was one of 16 in the district-wide contest to advance to the next round.

Poetry clubs from Coral Springs High School and Millennium Middle were also among the 16 winning teams.

Bearing your soul to an audience of strangers is no easy task, and each of them did an amazing job,” said Costi.

Her students are scheduled to perform in the 2022 Semifinals on Saturday, April 9, at 7 p.m. in the Gus Machado School of Business Auditorium at St. Thomas University.

Tickets are $5 each and free for Broward County Public Schools students.

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