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Las Vegas’ Battle Born Slam team makes its way to Decatur, Georgia next week to compete in national competition.

The team works for months to prepare for the 2016 National Poetry Slam. It takes good writing, excellent performance – and a coach to help put it all together.

“Throughout the summer, most of the duties of coaching revolve around editing, performance coaching, getting folks prepared to perform on the national stage,” said coach A.J. Moyer.

He said one of the things he has to deal with is nerves. The team will be competing with some of the best poets in the country. 

“If you’re not conveying the words in the appropriate emotional context with the right amount of performance hutzpah and force, you’re not really going to convey what’s written to the best of your ability," Moyer said.

He said the goal is take the words beyond the page, which is why most poets don't read the poems but instead go off page at nationals.

Moyer is optimistic about the team's chances this year.

“This is one of the strongest team we’ve had,” he said.

He said the team is full of unique voices, strong content and no one has the stereotypical slam poet cadence. 

Support comes from

The future of the team is also strong with more young people getting into poetry and the poetry community working on launching a program in the Clark County School District.

Photo of Loren Campbell/Photo Credit: Serena Renee


A.J. Moyer, coach, Las Vegas's Battle Born Slam team

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