Teen poets will compete to represent the District on the world champion DC Youth Slam Team, a program of Split This Rock. Tickets are $15 in advance, $20 the day of the slam. In addition to two rounds of poetry performance by exceptional high school students, the Finals will also feature international slam champion and award-winning poet Gayle Danley.
On Saturday, March 7, 2015, a performance poetry competition will select the next team of teenage poets to represent the District at national and international poetry slams. After months of practice, writing workshops, qualifying bouts, and inspiring performances in a grueling Semi-Finals competition at the National Portrait Gallery, the final 12 student competitors have been selected for the 2015 GRAND SLAM FINALS. These students from all over the DC area have shown great talent, poise, and mastery of words in delivering their original poetry in the most moving and passionate manner. The 2014 DC Youth Slam Team are the reigning world champion teen poets, having taken first place at the Brave New Voices International Youth Poetry Slam Festival (BNV) last summer.
Hundreds of young writers and performers from all around DC, Maryland, and Virginia have been working to make it to this year’s Finals, building a culture and community of literacy, art, and social change through after-school poetry clubs run by Split This Rock. This summer the DC Youth Slam Team will defend its world champion title and represent the District of Columbia at BNV in Atlanta.
“The DC Youth Slam Team motivates me to uplift myself and the community,” says 17-year-old poet Tajai Williams, of Dunbar Senior High School, who earned 2nd place in Semi-Finals and will be competing in Finals. “I listen to peoples’ stories and understand that everyone goes through difficult things in life. I get a sense of peace when I am able to alleviate the stress from home, school, relationships, work, etc. through poetry.”
The Institute for Policy Studies proudly bows with a hat tip to acknowledge the indispensability of the relationship between art, the voice of youth, and progressive social transformation. Thus we proudly support the Grand Slam Finals for the 2015 DC Youth Slam Team.