21 students from 11 Portland and east Multnomah County public high schools will perform original works in this annual competition for Rose City glory.
“At Verselandia, Portland youth bare their souls and tell their own stories through poetry– and when they share their voices, it connects and strengthens our community,” said Andrew Proctor, Executive Director of Portland Literary Arts. “If you want to know what’s really happening in the lives of Portland’s young people, come to Verselandia.”
Visit this link to watch past performances from Verselandia! Community members can get tickets to the event here.
PORTLAND, OR, 2023 – Verselandia!, Portland’s city-wide youth poetry slam championship presented by LIterary Arts, will return to the Arlene Schnitzer Hall on April 27, 2023 @ 7:00 PM. Verselandia! is a celebration of Portland’s youth poets: a Grand Slam competition for winners of individual poetry slams held throughout the year by area public high school librarians.
Members of the public are invited to cheer on 21 students from 11 Portland and east Multnomah County public high schools as they compete for poetic glory at this energetic and inspiring event that gives young people a space to share their voices. Tickets for the public are available here.
Oregon Poet Laureate Anis Mojgani will host Verselandia! and a panel of onstage judges will score each student performance. This year’s judges are: Portland business lawyer and Partner at Hathaway Larson LLP, and non-profit leader Gustavo (Tavo) Cruz, Jr.; choreographer, arts advocate and former Creative Laureate of Portland Subashini Ganesan; poet, professional teaching artist and somatic therapist Mindy Nettifee; author and poetry slam champion Jae Nichelle; and Grammy Award-winning singer, songwriter and composer Esperanza Spalding. Learn more about the judges here.
Verselandia! has the same rules as national poetry slams: Students’ poetry must be original work, each performance cannot exceed three minutes, and poets cannot use any props, costumes, or music. Verselandia judges use a scale of one to ten, rating both the writing and the performance on a scale of one to ten. Winners will receive cash prizes.
WHAT: Verselandia!, Portland’s annual city-wide poetry slam championship presented by Literary Arts: Tickets are available to the public here. Members of the media: Please reach out for event access and interviews.
WHO: Verselandia! Finalists: 21 student competitors from the following Portland and east Multnomah County public high schools
Benson High School
Cleveland High School
Franklin High School
Grant High School
Ida B. Wells High School
Jefferson High School
Lincoln High school
McDaniel High School
Metropolitan Learning Center
Parkrose High School
Roosevelt High School
Verselandia! Host Anis Mojgani, Oregon Poet Laureate
Verselandia! Judges: Portland business lawyer and Partner at Hathaway Larson LLP, and non-profit leader Gustavo (Tavo) Gustavo J. Cruz, Jr.; choreographer, arts advocate and former Creative Laureate of Portland Subashini Ganesan; poet, professional teaching artist and somatic therapist Mindy Nettifee; author and poetry slam champion Jae Nichelle; and Grammy Award-winning singer, songwriter and composer Esperanza Spalding
WHERE: The Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, 1037 SW Broadway, Portland, OR 97205
WHEN: Thursday, April 27 from 7-9:00 PM PST
Verselandia! was founded by Portland teacher-librarian Nancy Sullivan in 2005 and has been presented by Literary Arts since 2012.
Thank you to this year’s Verselandia! sponsors: