Madison to host youth poetry slam semifinals and finals
Dozens of students from across the state are gearing up to compete for a berth on the Wisconsin State Youth Poetry Slam Team, which will represent the state at the national Brave New Voices International Youth Poetry Slam Festival this coming summer.
Semifinal competition for high school students in the Madison area will be held at local schools and community centers the week of Feb. 1-5.
The public is invited to attend the free semifinal slam competition for students who attend Shabazz City High School or any other Madison School District-affiliated alternative high school. The event will be held at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 2, in the Lapham Elementary School auditorium, 1045 E. Dayton St. It will be hosted by the University of Wisconsin–Madison’s Katrina Flores and Ali Muldrow, a member of the 2009 Wisconsin National Adult Poetry Slam Team, along with deejay Vinnie Toma.
The public also is invited to attend the semifinal competition for Memorial High School students at 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 3, at the Lussier Community Education Center, 55 S. Gammon Road. This event will be hosted by UW–Madison First Wave member and Brave New Voices finalist Karl Iglesias along with deejay Vinnie Toma.
Contestants will be judged by artists from Madison’s hip-hop, radio and writing community. The winners from each semifinal will go on to compete against other regional contest winners at the Wisconsin State Grand Slam at UW–Madison at 7 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 26, in the Memorial Union Theater, 800 Langdon St. Tickets for the show go on sale today (Jan. 29); the show features internationally renowned hip-hop theater artist Queen GodIs as host and featured performer.
The finale competition will decide the members of the Wisconsin Grand Slam Poetry Team, which will represent the state at the 13th annual Brave New Voices International Youth Poetry Slam Festival in Los Angeles July 19-25.
Convening the top young poets and spoken-word artists aged 13-19 from across the United States and beyond, Brave New Voices is a one-of-a-kind arts festival presented by Youth Speaks, the nations leading nonprofit presenter of spoken-word performance, education and youth-development programs.
The Wisconsin State Youth Poetry Slam is a project sponsored by the UW–Madison Office of Multicultural Arts Initiatives (OMAI) with assistance from the First Wave Hip-Hop Theater Ensemble.
For more information, visit http://omai.wisc.edu/.