This weekend, the Louder Than a Bomb Florida Poetry competition comes to an end for 2021 with the final rounds taking place at Florida Memorial University.
Over the past month, more than 200 student poets have competed on a virtual platform, using Zoom to connect. It’s the same strategy the group used last year, when the pandemic first hit.
“We like to call it the Super Bowl of poetry," said Seth Levit, the executive director of the Jason Taylor Foundation which runs the event. "Think of March Madness, but with high school poetry teams. We have 24 teams from across the state. We have teams as far south as Homestead and far north as Jacksonville.”
One of the competitors, junior Raiya Shaw from Cypress Bay High School in Weston, started her poetic journey with the “Lightning Poets Club” at her school.
”I was terrified out of my mind but I took a shot for it. I knew I wanted to do anything with writing," she said. "I remember thinking is this something that I want to do.”
Shaw’s skills will be on display this weekend at the competition.
“It’s a really gratifying experience," Shaw added. "The whole part of writing is getting those words out.“
You can watch the final competition at home on the Jason Taylor Foundation’s YouTube page.