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Five Question Friday -- Eric Odum (2015-01-02)

The manager of the Cleveland Brave New Voices team, Eric Odum, agreed to sit down with us and spill some of the beans to give us an inside look at the makings of the next great Cleveland-based slam team. He is currently running the OneMic Open events all over the Cleveland area.

So, for the people at home, What is Brave New Voices?
Brave New Voices is an international youth poetry convention of sorts. There are workshops, youth meetings to discuss issues they face---as well as a HUGE slam featuring 50 teams from all over the world.

How did you get involved with the BNV team?
I was a member of the Cleveland youth team for three years, and when I aged out I went on to coach the team for the following two years until the program ended.

What were your intentions when you started coaching the BNV team?
Meaning, do you have high expectations or was your goal something more substantial? My goal wasn’t “to win” if that’s what some people think. Winning is completely secondary, the main objective is exposure, show the youth people they’ve never seen….places they’ve never been and let them hear things that no one had the bravery to say.

What do you want your team to get out of the experience with BNV?
Growth. BNV helped me become a better artist, it also opened my eyes to things going on outside of my lil slice of the world.

Tell us about your crowdfunding plan. What will it cover?
The plan is pretty simple, very grass roots. We have been asking patrons of the One Mic Open to donate, as well as families/friends/supporters of the youth art in Cleveland---but, I get the feeling they are really waiting to see if we are serious about this goal. I think that the upcoming Semi Finals on Jan. 30th will help. The money helps cover the registration fee (which includes room/board and two meals a day) as well as travel, and of course coverage for that third meal for the 3-4 days that we are there.

The GoFundMe link for OneMic Open is here. Make sure to donate some cash to help get the team on their way.


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Writers/Artists: Are you interested in being interviewed? Send an email to writingknights(at) with the Subject line: "Writing Knights Interview"

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