Congrats to our 2019 Verselandia! finalists. The eighth annual Verselandia! featured 21 students from 12 different schools competing for glory in the city-wide high school poetry slam at the Schnitz.
1st Place: Jordan Wolmut, Benson
2nd Place: Nikole Davis, Grant
3rd Place: Ari Lohr, Wilson
4th Place: Erin Challenor, Madison
5th Place: Dashiell Rucka, Jefferson
We want to give a huge shoutout to all the participating students and the librarians, teachers, and parents who organized and ran qualifying slams.
Verselandia! is the annual high school poetry slam presented by Literary Arts. It is the Grand Slam for the winners from individual school slams hosted by public high schools. High school poets compete for five great prizes.
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. See our Verselandia! Resources site for more information. Visit the High School Poetry Slam site for comprehensive materials for teaching spoken word poetry to high school students.
*Please note that high school students may use adult language and explore adult themes.
More Information: If you are interested in hosting a slam at your school; are an organization, community member, artist, or local business wishing to provide support or sponsorship; or if you are a news organization wishing to provide coverage, please contact Ramiza Koya, Director of Youth Programs at Literary Arts (firstname.lastname@example.org). Teachers of a participating school may contact Nancy Sullivan at Madison High School or Sandra Childs at Franklin High School.
I’ve been writing since 8th grade and my style has definitely changed over time. Verselandia encouraged me to write more, and realize that I’m capable of pursuing a creative path in life and be successful.
Over the last several years, my participation in Verselandia has empowered me to exercise a new form of poetic expression. More than just a literary craft, my poetry is now more of a vessel for emotion as a result of my exposure to slam poetry. Though my high school’s speech and debate program has provided me the opportunity to speak publicly, Verselandia has had a profound and unique impact. It encourages me to tie raw emotion to words, and encourages sincerity of wordsmithing. Finding slam poetry outlets for youth can prove difficult, and Verselandia not only provides a consistently high quality event, but consequently creates a local community of young slam poets.”
Roosevelt and Lincoln High School students