By Eva Sierra and Lydia Havens

September 19th was our 2015 – 2016 Tucson Youth Poetry Slam season kick-off!

Much like last year, it was a hit!

The crowd filled up Bently’s and before we knew it, half of the crowd was standing. We made over $500 in donations–which we are so thankful for!

The night started off with a workshop led by Tomas Stanton, co-founder of Phoenix’s youth slam, Phonetic Spit. Tomas had the poets write about abstract concepts (love, hate, privilege, fear, etc.) in their work. Many poets shared their work with the entire group, and soon enough, everybody was pumped!

The enthusiasm was then fueled by the community meeting! After a rather social ice breaker, Spoken Futures staff introduced a number of new concepts for this 6th season of TYPS. (Six seasons!) First are the new guidelines and safety statement that were created to keep TYPS a safe space. You can read those here.

Second, is the new point system? Whaaaaat? Just about every other slam has a point system of sorts so we applied that method to TYPS. This is used to determine who qualifies for the championships and it is based on slamming, placing, volunteering, and participating in community events! You can learn all about that here.

At 6:55, fifteen poets (many first timers) made their way outside of Bentley’s to go over slam rules and unite for the all-important TYPS High-Five. Poets spilled blood and literal tears in a night on feminism, culture, love, and everything inbetween. Nights like this are a reminder that youth voice is a staple in our communities.

Overall the slam was an incredible, enlightening, and full of love. Audience members actively approached poets with appreciation for their works. We would like to express our absolute gratitude to Bentley’s House of Coffee and tea for staying open late for us and making this possible. We would also like to thank our volunteers and of course all of those in attendance. Your donations are appreciated and your support is what keeps this youth space growing.

Congratulations to this month’s winners!

Overall slam:

  1. Ty
  2. Jenni
  3. Bianca L.

First timer’s slam:

  1. Brittany B.

Our next slam will be on Saturday, October 17th! Same time, same place. Hope to see you there! In the meantime, check out this video from our winner!