Teen Poetry Slam June 13

Update: June 14:

The Center’s Carrie Richer

Our first-ever Youth Poetry Slam morphed into a Poetry Duel and then a re-shuffle as judges switched with the brave poets and slammed them. All in good fun.

Poet and mentor Cassandra Lee filled in as a relief judge for Bill Schwartz (sadly his father in law former District Court Judge Robert Ranck passed away over the weekend). Kjera Griffith was the best slamming judge (in my humble opinion but she has been highly trained in that art) and Brian Nystrom tried to smooth the waters (which didn’t work in the end because the young poets gave him some words of poetic advice).

Our teen poets, Malie Curren and Sara McWhirter were the stars of the show, both as poets and then as judges in this revised format. I’m not sure about the point system employed by any of the judges–everything from what looked like hash tags to pineapples and flyswatters. In the end everybody was a winner. (We are investigating some reports of bribes, involving more than chocolate.)

Both Malie and Sara will be coming to the conference on scholarships provided by JHW next week, which is extremely cool and like awesome. Really! It is awesome. Even more awesome: our readers and members can support our scholarship fund so more young writers can come. We did not receive any outside funding for these, but LOVE having these kids come and get inspired and to inspire us.

Thanks again to The Center and Carrie Richer for proposing this partnership. And to Matt Daly for snagging the students. Next year we will have to turn the young writers away! And as a side note: check out Matt’s show O! How we play now playing in the Center’s gallery. It’s up into July. Watch for more details on this multi-media literary event.

Read Below for the Preview on the Poetry Slam.

Jackson Hole Writers, Center for the Arts and local poet Matt Daly are collaborating to bring local high school students to the microphone for the first-ever Teen Poetry Slam. Join us on Tuesday, June 13, from 4:30 to 6 p.m. in the lobby of the Theater Lobby. We are still looking for some competitors, so please either contact us on this website, connie @ blackhen.com or email matt @ dalypoetry.com

Poets will read or recite original poetry within a three-round elimination-based structure. The rounds will be scored by Matt Daly and judged by an esteemed panel. Fantastically amusing prizes will be awarded to those students who rise to the top. The Slam is intended to be fun for the poets and the audience.

We have our emcee, Laff Staff’s Josh Griffith to keep the judges honest and to be on the side of the poets. Be prepared to cheer and jeer the scores. No tomatoes please!

And the judges are: Kjera Griffith, another member of Laff Staff and teacher at Journeys School;, Brian Nystrom, who “is a poet, a priest, and a procrastinator who believes in the Oxford comma, though with some reservations. A fan of MMA, he is curious to see how a Poetry Slam works,” and Bill Schwartz, who offered up a haiku as a bio:

Lawyer for decades
Words hurl better as poems
Than as sharp weapons

No need to worry that these judges are academic, scholarly poets, and will test the young poets on meter and form. They all have senses of humor, work with kids, and / or write poetry or fiction or legal briefs or make it up as they go.

Prizes include: a scholarship to the 2018 Jackson Hole Writers Conference, gift certificates for books and bags, PLUS some stuff that gets passed around at White Elephant sales.