You catch that Sunday Chronicle profile of Noah St. John, the 15-year-old Berkeley High sophomore who has been competing in poetry slams and has read on NPR’s Snap Judgment?

Raised in the Shakespearean theater, with a novelist and a rhetoric expert as parents, you could say Noah was predestined for slam poetry princedom…He is uninhibited onstage, telling stories about growing up with two moms, life lessons he learned through the martial art of capoeira or his crush on an elementary-school teacher…”No subject matter is ever off-limits,” Noah said.

Here he is in the first round of the 2011 Youth Speaks Teen Poetry Slam, poeticizin’ about the Brazilian martial art capoeria. Watch him do a flip in the middle of the piece.

Virtual high five to Berkeleyside for posting the first video yesterday.

Here he is in a later round performing “Strawberry Blonde.”

And here he is performing when he was even younger…

“For me, it’s about communicating with the audience, not so much getting caught up in the rhythm or sound of your own poem,” Noah told the Chronicle. “It’s more about how the words are making you feel in the moment, so performing it feels new every time.”

Author

Jon Brooks

Jon Brooks writes mostly on film for KQED Arts. He is also an online editor and writer for KQED's daily news blog, News Fix. Jon is a playwright whose work has been produced in San Francisco, New York, Italy, and around the U.S.

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