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Knicks Poetry Slam Finals 2012


The Knicks Poetry Slam concluded its final competition on Thursday, March 8, 2012 at The New Amsterdam Theatre in Times Square. This was the 9th year that the Knicks and Urban Word NYC have partnered up to provide greater opportunities for high school students to use their poetic skills and talents to pursue higher education. Since its creation in 2003, The Knicks Poetry Slam has served over 30,000 annually through school site visits, Open Auditions, Workshops, a College Fair, Poetry Slams and the social media network. This year, the program provided students with more than $600,000 in college grants, scholarships and prizes.

The Brooklyn Steppers Marching Band opened the show and got the crowd involved from the very beginning. The excitement continued as Carvens Lissaint, Knicks Poetry Slam 1st place winner in 2007 hosted this year’s finals with the help of DJ Flip Bundlez. University of Wisconsin’s First Wave put on a wonderful performance to keep the energy high.

Representatives from Adelphi University, Mercy College, St. John’s University and The University of Wisconsin presented the winners of the Written Competition, Kedene McLoed (Adelphi University), Burt Robinson (Mercy College), Carvens Lissaint (St. John’s), Maurisa Fraser (St. John’s), Amani Breanna Alexander (University of Wisconsin) and Sydney Parson (University of Wisconsin) with full four-year scholarships to their designated school.

The 12 Finalists took the stage in front of a packed house to showcase their best work for the competition. Amani Breanna Alexander, who took the place of “Queen Tut” as a finalist due to a recent surgery won 3rd place and a $5,000 Educational Grant. 2nd place went to Brittany Barker who received a $7,500 Educational Grant and the 2012 Knicks Poetry Slam 1st Place winner is 17 year-old Harlemite, Gabriel Armando Barralaga who, a fan favorite received a $10,000 Educational Grant for his performance.

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