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UW First Draft FEAT. Lauren Whitehead

February 23, 2016 @ 7:00 pm

#UWFirstDraft is a free, non-censored, open mic & weekly reading series sponsored by Urban Word NYC. It is open to all teen poets, musicians, MCs, Urban Word alumni, and mentors. We seek to provide a safe space for artistic expression, experimentation and development across all genres. First Draft is not a workshop nor a staged show. It’s the stepping stone in-between. It is open to artists of all mediums seeking to share their creative energy and unique perspective. All generations of the Urban Word community, past, present and future, are invited to share their voices,
ideas and wisdom.
About our curators: Jon Sands is a writer known for electric readings, and the author of The New Clean (2011, Write Bloody Publishing). His work has been featured in The New York Times, published widely in various journals, and anthologized in The Best American Poetry 2014. He starred in the award winning web-series Verse: A Murder Mystery from Rattapallax Films, is the co-founder of Poets in Unexpected Places, and a facilitator with the Dialogue Arts Project. http://jonsands.com/

Soré Agbaje is a 20 year old Nigerian- American, Brooklyn College student. There she majors in Political Science with a minor in Journalism and is the Treasurer and member of the Brooklyn College Slam team. Sore is a 2015 Cambridge Writer’s Fellowship recipient, a Scholastic Silver Key Art and Writing recipient, and the 2014-2015 NYC Poet Ambassador. She is a member of the United Nation’s NGO and artist initiative, “I Sell The Shadow”. She has been blessed to perform in spaces such as the United Nations, Columbia University, NYU, Lincoln Center, the Queens Museum, Apollo Theatre, New York Live Arts and more. She is a workshop facilitator who has led art and social justice workshops for high school students transitioning into college, BuildOn youth, and a workshop on violence against women for the Commission on the Status of Women conference. She has brought her message of social change to world leaders such as the President of the General Assembly, UN Secretary General, Youth Envoy, Winnie Mandela, and former Prime minister of the United Kingdom, Gordon Brown. She is also a playwright, who has performed her self-written one woman show, Bringing Back my Girl Off-Broadway. Her latest play “Countdown” was put up by the Wild Project through the theatre program “Conscious Language”. She actively uses her talent in music, art, and writing as a tool to fuel and promote her passion for social justice and politics. She is looking forward to publishing her very first book under Penmanship Books in partnership with Urban Word NYC.

José Olivarez is the son of Mexican immigrants. Originally from Calumet City, IL, he lives in the Bronx. He is a graduate of Harvard University and the Poet-Linc Manager for Lincoln Center Education. His work has also been featured on Yahoo’s Ball Don’t Lie basketball blog, Chicago Public Radio, and on Mass Poetry’s PoeTry on the T program. His first book, Home Court, is available at http://homecourtpoems.tumblr.com/purchase

About our feature:
Lauren Whitehead is a poet, playwright, performer, educator and a Master of Fine Arts recipient from Columbia University where she was a Schubert Presidential Fellow and an Undergraduate Writing Teaching Fellow. Lauren has performed around the country including at The Sundance Film Festival, The Kennedy Center for Performing Arts, The Nokia Theater and The Nuyorican Poets Café. She was featured on HBO’s documentary, “Brave New Voices” and has appeared on NPR’s “Talk of the Nation.” Her most recent work is the full length play “stunning, still” which was read at the Vineyard Arts Project and Naked Angels 1st Mondays Play Reading Series.


February 23, 2016
7:00 pm


Urban Word NYC


Urban Word NYC
5 W 19th St
New York, NY 10011 United States