Team Philadelphia

About the Team

Philadelphia is the sixth most populous city in the United States, and it boasts many historical landmarks, as well as numerous college campuses. And yet, it also has one of the highest murder rates in the country. This contradiction is reflected in Philadelphia's poetry. High-achieving college students—several of them from Ivy League schools—make Philly the dream team to beat. Last year, they took home the Brave New Voices National Youth Poetry Slam Championship.

This year's Philly team is led by high pedigree wordsmiths, several of them returning champions unwilling to give up their title. Each member of coach Greg Corbin's team is a seasoned performer and superior writer. A poet himself, Greg Corbin trains these young poets out of his love for spoken word. Without a formal company or organization to provide a space to conduct workshops or offer financial support, the Philadelphia team relies mostly on the driven work ethic of its team members and coach. The goal for them is clear: To go to Brave New Voices and win again.


About the Coach

Greg Corbin is the founder, mentor and coach for the Youth Poetry Team from Philadelphia. Too often, he sees Philadelphia's youth "take advantage of the revolving door of incarceration rather than the revolving door of education." Greg came into coaching poets as a way to get beyond the limits of traditional pedagogy. "I was teaching, and I was struggling 'cause I really don't want to be confined in a classroom," he says. "I want to travel the world, go help inner city youth and do workshops and consult and speak at events. I don't want to be intellectually constipated like, 'You should listen to me because I have this degree.' I don't want you to feel like you've had a lecture. No, I want you to be inspired when you leave my presence."

The Contenders

Hasan Malik Babb
Josh Bennett
Aysha El Shamayleh
Noel Scales
Chloe Wayne
Alysia Harris

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