"Whatever you are, be a good one."
Poet Keith Warfield, 18, is a senior at TEAM Englewood Community Academy High School. This is his fourth year participating in Louder Than a Bomb. (Keith can also be heard performing here and here.) "Whatever you are, be a good one." is an Abraham Lincoln quote that was used as a writing prompt at "Crossing the Street 2012" - the annual kick-off event of Louder Than a Bomb where all the participating writers and their coaches gather for a day of workshops and readings. When Keith heard this quote, he wrote about himself and the Chicago neighborhood of Englewood that he hails from.
Though everyone knows "the points are not the point, the point is the poetry" – congratulations to Keith, who was named the top individual poet of the 2012 Festival, out of a field of over 800 young writers.
You can also listen to Keith speak with WBEZ's Steve Edwards about participating in Louder Than a Bomb and share more about the story behind this piece.
The largest of its kind in the world, Louder Than A Bomb (LTAB) is Chicago’s rapidly-growing teen poetry festival, taking place February 18 - March 10, 2012, at various venues around Chicago. Aiming to bring teens together across racial, gang, and socio-economic lines, LTAB is a friendly competition that emphasizes self-expression and community via poetry, oral story-telling, and hip-hop spoken word.
Click here to hear all the other 2012 recordings, alongside nearly 200 Louder Than a Bomb Finalist pieces recorded by Chicago Public Media (WBEZ-Chicago) over the past eight years.