In this episode of The Archive Project, we celebrate Portland’s creative youth during our sixth annual Verselandia! poetry slam. This city-wide event features students from Parkrose, Roosevelt, Metropolitan Learning Center, Benson, Lincoln, Gresham, Sam Barlow, Franklin, Madison, Wilson, Jefferson, Grant, and Cleveland high schools. Verselandia! is the Grand Slam for the winners from individual school slams hosted by public high school library media specialists. This episode features a small selection of performances from the 2017 competition.
“I always fluctuate back and forth between how much I loathe poetry and how much I love it. But one thing I don’t swing back and forth about is how much I love young folks being introduced to poetry, and writing it, and finding their voice through it.” —Anis Mojgani
This episode also features an extended interview with Anis Mojgani, the host of Verselandia! 2017. Mojgani is a two-time National Poetry Slam Champion and winner of the International World Cup Poetry Slam. He is the author of three poetry collections—Songs from Under the River, The Feather Room, and Over the Anvil We Stretch—and a fully illustrated poetry memoir, The PocketKnife Bible.