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I’ve written in a previous blog how much I enjoy the HBO show, Russell Simmons Presents Brave New Voices. I highly recommend it — geez, there’s so much tripe on television, it’s great to see a show that offers so much. It extolls poetry as a way of bringing focus to young writers’ lives, it brings performance poetry to new heights, and it shows how hard it is to write a really good poem. What are you doing still reading this? Go watch an episode! Brave New Voices.

I’ve been listening to the mentors on the show and taking their advice for myself. They don’t hold anything back when they talk to these kids, but it’s great advice to all poets: open up and write your emotions, be clever, write outrageous metaphors, and be true to yourself.

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If you enjoy modern, spoken poetry (like HBO’s Def Poetry Jam), you’ll enjoy Russell Simmon’s new show, Brave New Voices.

The show is part documentary, part performance, all engaging. The show’s page has links to the selected poets’ full performances, since they’re edited for the documentary. Some of these kids are amazingly talented and insightful. Most of the poems will stand on their own without their charismatic performers. Even if you don’t subscribe to HBO, you can see the shows on HBO.com. Watch it.