Our city-wide youth poetry slam offers a public platform for local high school students to showcase their talents on stage. Learn about #Virtualandia!, a creative digital platform for poetry and community launched in 2020 and continuing in 2021.
#Virtualandia! 2021 is an exciting opportunity for Portland Metro high school students to take part in a dynamic virtual slam poetry competition for the chance to win prizes and the title of #Virtualandia slam champion. This program includes free workshops for students and schools, individual feedback sessions for competing poets, and professional video production for the top 10 students who advance to the final rounds.
The championship will be held via livestream on Thursday April 29, 2021 at www.virtualandia.live. The top prize is a $1,000 visa gift card.
Students and educators can get free tickets to the 2021 #Virtualandia! Youth Poetry Slam Championship and community members can support the next generation of poets and storytellers with their ticket purchase.
March 19 — Submissions open, 12 p.m.
March 31 — Submissions close, 11:59 p.m.
April 13 — Notification of placement
April 16 — Studio recording of final poems, 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.
April 17 — Studio recording of final poems, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
April 29 — #Virtualandia! championship livestream at 5:30 p.m.
Student handbook: tinyurl.com/virtualandia-handbook-21
Workshop and Q&A sign ups: tinyurl.com/virtualandia-workshops-21
1:1 Feedback/Coaching sign ups: tinyurl.com/virtualandia-feedback-21
Ticket link: literary-arts.org/event/virtualandia-2021/
Contact Emilly Prado, Director of Youth Programs, for inquiries about workshops and feedback sessions at firstname.lastname@example.org. Contact Olivia Jones-Hall, Youth Programs Manager, for competition rule inquiries at email@example.com.
For competing students:
How to enter Virtualandia:
1. Register here. Registration is open now!
2. Upload your video.
Starting March 19, once you have registered, Literary Arts will email you within one business day with a link to upload the video of your poem. Both components (registration and upload) of your entry must be submitted by Wednesday, March 31 at 11:59 p.m. PST. You will be notified of advancement by Tuesday, April 13. Up to 300 students can submit a poem.
Please note: Participating students must be high school students, currently enrolled at one of the following schools: Alliance, Benson, Centennial, Cleveland, David Douglas, Fir Ridge, Franklin, Grant, Gresham, Ida B. Wells-Barnett/Wilson, Jefferson, Lincoln, Madison, Many Nations Academy, Metropolitan Learning Center, Open School, Parkrose, Reynolds, and Roosevelt.
Head over to the Virtualandia Handbook for more information on eligibility, rules, prizes, competition design, workshops, resources, and more! Click here to sign up for our workshops and Q&A session.
Upcoming #Virtualandia! Events
#Virtualandia! 2020 was an opportunity for Portland high school students, and beyond, to take part in a city-wide poetry initiative. Five local slam poets and writers created video lessons covering the history of slam, as well as writing, editing, performing, and revising poems. Students at partner schools (schools scheduled to participate in Verselandia! and East Side Slam! 2020) also had the opportunity to give their work to one of the poets or writers and receive individualized feedback.
We encouraged all students to use the hashtag #virtualandia on their own social media accounts if they shared their work or documented their creative process. Literary Arts published a cohesive collection of student work online at the conclusion of the spring 2020 program.
#Virtualandia! 2020 video lessons are housed on the Literary Arts YouTube channel in a dedicated playlist (embedded below).
Our #Virtulandia! YouTube playlist:
Thank you to our 2020 #Virtualandia! sponsors:
Verselandia! was founded by a group of Portland public high school librarians and educators who ran individual poetry slams at their schools. As the competitions grew, Literary Arts became a partner and the producer of the final event as of 2012. Today, during the last week of April, our annual Verselandia! event draws more than 1,000 people to cheer on youth poets at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall.
Currently, participating schools include Portland Public high schools as well as Gresham high school and Parkrose high school. While the grand slam is currently at capacity for competitors, we invite regional high school students to attend.
“If you have something to say, or feel like your voice is not heard, or if you have things to teach people and wisdom to get out, slam poetry is great.”Verselandia! finalist
“Verselandia not only provides a consistently high quality event, but consequently creates a local community of young slam poets.”Lincoln High School student
East Side Slam!
The East Side Slam! launched in 2019 as an opportunity for local high school students to participate in the first dedicated slam poetry competition serving East Multnomah County. Poets attending high schools in East Multnomah County, outside of Portland Public Schools, who won the qualifying slams at their high schools made their way to the East Side Slam! finale.
Learn more about the East Side Slam! in this Pamplin Media news article covering the inaugural event.