Youth “Voces” on display this Friday

June 27, 2013

Voices, Art / Culture

Every Monday through Friday for the month of June, from 9am to 4pm, a group of teenagers have devoted themselves to the art of being heard. These teen authors have bought into a 12 year-old program at the National Hispanic Cultural Center called Voces. This teen summer writing intensive was facilitated by the multimedia hip hop theater collaborative Urban Verbs, under the direction of Hakim Bellamy, Carlos Contreras and Colin Diles Hazelbaker. Throughout the month these young writers, with interest that vary from poetry to music to politics to comedy to short stories, were given the freedom and form to develop their innate writing talent. Guest presenters were brought in as experts on different styles of writing and performance, as well as visual art, choreography and communications/media training.

Earlier this month, the Voces family was treated to a visit by New Mexico Mercury's V.B. Price. Price made the students an offer they couldn't refuse, when he invited them so submit stories to the Mercury for consideration. The first of those submissions was vetted and deemed "fit to print!" This young author writes by the name Alexandria Brown...and is one of the two youngest students in the Voces program this year. As part of the 2013 Voces cohort tagged as "the brightest stars on the mesa," Ms. Brown is a very bright star indeed.

You can see Alexandra Brown (under her birth name) as well as the other Voces 2013 young authors on Friday, June 28th at 7pm at the National Hispanic Cultural Center. Admission is free! Please support youth literacy and legacy in New Mexico. Join the Facebook event and share widely. Thank you.


Finger on the Trigger to My Dear Juliet by Alexandia Brown

“Go hang out with your friends. You need it.” She said.  “Can’t you come with me?” I pleaded with her.  “Ryan, I can’t always come with you.” She said.  “But I love you! Everything’s boring without you!” I told her.  “You know the depression won’t let me,” she said, trailing off.  “We’ll I’ll just bring them to us!” I told her.  Ever since she got diagnosed with depression, we’ve been having these little talks.  “I guess.” she told me at last.  I smiled, picked her up and twirled her around.  She laughed and I kissed her cheek.  “I’m warning you though; they’ve changed for the worse.” I told her.  She playfully hit me and said “Don’t say that about people!” I kissed her and then ran to my car.  I drove around and picked up all my friends.  Jeremy, Will, Shelton and Jason.  We drove back to the house in the country where Juliet and I were staying for the summer.  I locked the car door as they walked in.  “Hey guys! Haven’t seen you for a while!” I heard Juliet say as I closed the door.  We all sat in the T.V. room on the couches.  “What are we going to do?” I asked everyone.  I looked around out little circle.  I knew they didn’t like Juliet, but Juliet liked them.  All the guys looked at Jason as he started pulling something out of his coat pocket.  “How about we play Russian Roulette with a twist?” Jason said as he pulled out a revolver and one bullet.  I looked at Juliet and was about to say no when Juliet said “How do you play?” Jason smiled, and so did everyone else.  “It’s easy love.” Jeremy said.  I stood up and Shelton pushed me back down.  “It sounds fun Ryan!” Juliet told me.  “Let the lady play.” Will said.  I glared at all of them.  “What’s the twist?” I asked.  “There’s just one extra add on.” Shelton said and Jeremy grinned.  “Aside from spinning the cylinder, you also spin around as a person. Pointing at any random person you’re facing.” Jason explained.  I growled at them from the bottom of my throat.  Juliet interrupted with “Let’s play! It sounds fun!” I was about to explain to her that someone can die when she asked “Who goes first?”  Everyone looked at each other. “How about we draw straws?” Shelton asked.  “Sounds fair.” Jeremy said.  Will smiled as Juliet wen into the kitchen to get the straws.  “If you pull anything on her!” I growled at them.  “You’ll do what? She’ll be dead.” Jason said.  I gave them all evil glares and Juliet came back holding six straws in her hand.  They all looked the same length.  I held my breath as everyone but Juliet and I drew their straws.  They all had the same length of straws.  I held my breath as I closed my eyes and picked a random straw.  I opened my eyes and looked at it.  Juliet held out her straw to me and I measured them.  Mine was shorter.  “Looks like little Romeo here is going first.” Jason said.  Juliet giggled at the nickname.  I looked at her and I kissed her.  “Hurry up you love birds!” Will said.  I stood in the middle of the circle.  “How long do I have to spin?” I asked.  They all thought about it for a couple of moments.  “One minute.” Shelton said.  I sighed and started spinning.  I was holding the revolver close to my chest.  I spun around for one minute, and held the revolver in front of my face as I stopped.  I landed on Juliet.  I started to tear up.  “I love you Juliet.” I told her.  I had my finger on the trigger pointed at my dear Juliet.  She looked me in the eyes and I looked away and pulled the trigger.  I heard the shot loud and clear.  I just shot Juliet.  I ran up to my room, added another bullet, and went back downstairs.  “I hate you all! “ I shouted and then I pulled the trigger.  Bang.  I died with my dear Juliet.

This piece was written by:

Hakim Bellamy's photo

Hakim Bellamy

Hakim Bellamy was the inaugural poet laureate of Albuquerque and is a national and regional Poetry Slam Champion. He holds three consecutive collegiate poetry slam titles at the University of New Mexico and his poetry has been published in Albuquerque inner-city buses and various anthologies. Bellamy was recognized as an honorable mention for the University of New Mexico Paul Bartlett Re Peace Prize for his work as a community organizer and journalist and was recently bestowed the populist honor of “Best Poet” by Local iQ (“Smart List” 2010, 2011, 2012 & 2013) and Alibi (“Best of Burque” 2010, 2011 & 2012). He is the co-creator of the multimedia Hip creator of the multimedia Hip Hop theater production Urban Verbs: Hip-Hop Conservatory & Theater that has been staged throughout the country. He facilitates youth writing workshops for schools and community organizations in New Mexico and beyond.

Hakim is currently finishing his MA in Communications and Journalism Department at the University of New Mexico. He is the proud father of a 5 year-old miracle and is the founding president of Beyond Poetry, LLC.

Hakim's photo by Wes Naman

Contact Hakim Bellamy

Honorary Subscription

Is your time on New Mexico Mercury worth the price of a cup of coffee a week?  Then click on the button below to purchase a recurring monthly subscription.

Payment Options


One-time Payment

If you'd like to pay for the content you've enjoyed on New Mexico Mercury with a payment when it's convenient for you, click on the button below for a one-time purchase.


Responses to “Youth “Voces” on display this Friday”