Poetry Slam Champ: YaKuZa Moon Claims Citywide Title [POEMS]

Martha Dawson

All the Citywide Poets circle together after the Grand Slam.

With poems about Navajo reservation life and the events of Detroit in 1967, 17-year-old YaKuZa Moon won the 2017 Detroit Youth Poetry Grand Slam Thursday.

He and four other students — Wes, Ashley Rae, LaShawn, and Damon — will represent Detroit at the Brave New Voices International Youth Poetry Festival in San Francisco this summer. They’re all part of InsideOut Literary Arts Citywide Poets program.

The key to YaKuZa’s win? “Practicing, practicing, practicing,” he says.

The Detroit slam, held at Trinosophes, included 12 young poets who had qualified through two previous competitions. Some of them dropped by WDET earlier this week to share their work.

Listen to YaKuZa talk about competing in the Detroit Youth Poetry Slam competition.

Sandra Svoboda/WDET

YaKuZa on stage during the final round of the 2017 Detroit Youth Poetry Grand Slam.


Language Advisory

Sandra Svoboda/WDET

Damon on stage at the poetry slam finals.

Martha Dawson

YaKuZa speaks with WDET after the Detroit Youth Poetry Slam competition.

Listen to YaKuZa’s final poem.


Listen to Wes’s final poem.


Listen to LaShawn’s final poem.


Listen to Ashley Rae’s final poem.


Listen to Damon’s final poem.


Listen to Eldric’s final poem.


Listen to Imani’s final poem.


Listen to A’Janae’s final poem.



Image credit: Sandra Svoboda/WDET

Aired on: CultureShift
About the Author

Sandra Svoboda

Special Assignments Manager

Recovering Bankruptcy Reporter/Blogger looking forward to chronicling regional revitalization on-air, digitally and through community engagement.

ssvoboda@wdet.org   Follow @WDETSandra

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