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Champion named at Saturday's Women of the World Poetry Slam

Champion to be named at Saturday's Women of the World Poetry Slam
Champion to be named at Saturday's Women of the World Poetry Slam 02:08

BALTIMORE -- Seventy-two women from around the world grabbed the mic and voiced their thoughts through carefully crafted poetry throughout the week.

But it was down to the final 12 poets on Saturday night at Center Stage in downtown Baltimore.

Founder of Black Arts District talks about Women of the World Poetry Slam festival 03:58

The mic was hot, and the lights were on as women spoke from their heart to compete in the Womxn of the World Poetry Slam.

From 72 international poets down to 12 finalists, one woman will wake up Sunday morning with the title of champion and $5,000.

Ebony Stewart remembers winning back in 2017 and taking a breath right before hitting the stage.

"I was definitely nervous, but I also felt confident and pride of myself that I made it that far," she said.

From topics about identity to mental health, the poets are able to pull inspiration from anywhere and everywhere.

"Often times, poetry is either a mirror or a window," Festival Director Lady Brion said. "It's often something you can see yourself in or it provides a space for you to take a glimpse in someone else's reality."

For people to reach their full potential on the mic, the festival organized workshops to allow people to prep their mind, body and soul.

Nazaahah Amin is a yoga therapist and instructor who shared her talents of vinyasa yoga to help performers prepare their throats.

"We are going to tap into the throat chakra and that's a part of the body that helps us be truthful," she said. "It helps us fully express ourselves and it also helps us connect us through our words, our honest words."

Since 2008, the festival has carved out a space to help women feel seen and heard, especially women of color.

"We live in a world that often silences us, kind of puts us in boxes," Lady Brion said. "Trying to make us as productive citizens as we can without giving us a space to really be free."

But Center Stage in Mount Vernon opened their doors to their 500-seat theater to offer that freedom.

"Right now, there aren't that many places that are funded well enough to support all their work and all of their effort," Interim Artistic Director Ken-Matt Martin said. "So, we think it's important that us here as Baltimore's theatre are able to continue to fill that gap."

The competition wrapped up around 8 p.m. at the community theatre inside Center Stage.

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