In this episode of The Archive Project, we celebrate Portland’s creative youth during the seventh 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 competing for poetic glory. 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 2018 competition, emceed by Portland’s own Anis Mojgani.
Content warning: This episode contains strong language and adult themes. Discretion is advised
Anis Mojgani is the author of five books of poetry. His work has appeared on HBO, NPR, and in journals Bat City Review, Rattle, Buzzfeed Reader, Thrush, and Forklift Ohio, amongst others. A two-time National Poetry Slam Champion and winner of the International World Cup Poetry Slam, Anis has done commissioned work for the Getty Museum, the Peabody Essex Museum, and the Portland Timbers, and has been awarded artist residencies from the Vermont Studio Center, AIR Serenbe, and the Bloedel Nature Reserve. Originally from New Orleans, Anis currently lives in Portland, OR, where he serves on the Board of Directors for Literary Arts. His latest book is In the Pockets of Small Gods. Visit him online at thepianofarm.com.