Rosedale’s Slam Poet Earns Prestigious Citywide Prize

Queens native Camryn Bruno earned the NYC Youth Poet Laureate title in November. Photo via NYC Votes.

Queens native Camryn Bruno earned the NYC Youth Poet Laureate title in November. Photo via NYC Votes.

By David Brand

A new voice from Rosedale has emerged on the city’s vibrant arts scene, inspiring audiences around the city with her spoken word poetry.

Camryn Bruno, 19, was named New York City’s Youth Poet Laureate, a prestigious honor among New York City artists.

Bruno was born in St. Albans, a neighborhood with a rich artistic history that has been home to poets and musicians like Count Basie, John Coltrane and A Tribe Called Quest’s Q-Tip and Phife Dawg. She attended P.S. 270 before she moved to Trinidad and Tobago, where she began writing and performing slam poetry in 2014.

Bruno returned to Queens to attend CUNY York College and hone her poetry, which engages with social issues from a different perspective. She now lives in Rosedale.

“The first poem I wrote was about technology and that’s where I found my niche of fusing social issues and finding new ways to talk about them,” she told the Eagle. “They’re about finding a way to say, ‘We see this is happening, we know this happening, but I’ve never seen it in that light before.”

Bruno said she actively seeks different perspectives from reading newspapers, watching YouTube videos and checking out tweets from across the political and social spectrum.

“It is a lot of work and responsibility because I have to make sure my words are accurate,” she said. “You’re responsible for your words so I do a lot of research. I take into account a lot of views instead of just writing from what I think.”

As NYC Youth Poet Laureate, Bruno will perform her work throughout the city, a challenge Bruno said she is ready to handle despite her school workload.

Though she live in Queens, Bruno said she has never performed at a venue in her home borough because few allow performers under 21.

“I haven’t found a place in Queens to perform,” she said. “A lot of Queens natives have to go into the city to find new spaces to perform.”