The following is an excerpt from the Washington City Paper's article, "At Split This Rock, a Local High-Schooler Channels Buddha, Tupac, and Leonard Cohen." For the full article, click here. At left, Diamante reads at Split This Rock's opening night. Photo Credit: Jill Brazel
Allah is drinking coffee. Jesus is switching lines at L’Enfant. Me and Buddha ride.
Throaty voice, Mohawked braids, her right hand conducting an invisible orchestra: Diamante Dorsey has the stage.
The audience claps at every pause and shouts her lines right back. They like their gods on U Street, paired with sex, cozying up in the Langston Hughes room.
“I kind of use that shock thing to my advantage, but it’s also my downfall,” she said after performing at Busboys and Poets on Wednesday.
A high school senior at Duke Ellington School of the Arts, Dorsey is a contender at Saturday’s D.C. Youth Poetry Slam, part of the Split This Rock Poetry Festival.
The event, presented by the poet Jeffrey McDaniel at Bell Multicultural High School, determines which of D.C.’s young poets will fly to Los Angeles this summer for the national Brave New Voices competition.
The DC Youth Poetry Slam Finals take place today at Bell Multicultural High School from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.