Tucson Youth Poetry Slam

The young voices of Southern Arizona

Category: Slam Reviews (page 1 of 3)

Check out what went down at the last TYPS!

Tucson Youth Poetry Slam, September 2015- Review

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!

Tucson Youth Poetry Slam, May 2015 (Cover Slam)- Review

May Slam review by special guest blogger Zack Taylor

 

May was the Cover Slam which means the summer has officially started!  During the summer we give you a chance to break rules and poets were able to plagiarize and perform other poets works! We had poets recite the works of Megan Falley, Kendrick Lamar, and Beck Cooper!

 

Prior to the slam, the hosts, Eva and myself, ran a workshop about perspectives of celebrities, book characters, TV personalities, super heroes, and even alter egos to get everyone prepared for June’s Cosplay Slam.

 

DJ Dirtyverbs kicked off the night right with some cumbia hip hop remixes and the slam was on! We had a total of ten poets signed up with five first-timers. Eva, our host and new reigning TYPS champ, was our spotlight feature and covered poems by even yours truly!

 

Remember, we love first timers but we need second timers to keep coming as well! We are so pleased to have so many first timers every month but without second timers (and third timers, and fourth, and so on) TYPS wouldn’t continue grow. We need all of you!

 

I would like to give a big thank you to our volunteers; DJ Dirtyverbs, Araceli, Jose, Sarah, Maya, Eva, the judges, and the baristas at Bentley’s House of Coffee and Tea.

 

Winners:

1st Alex K.

2nd Cecilia

3rd Carmela

 

Highest Scoring First Timer:

Sarah P.

The next summer slams:

-June 20th: Cosplay slam
-July 18th: Identity slam (we’ll cover this in the June workshop)
-August 15th: Music slam

See you soon!

Tucson Youth Poetry Slam All City Championships 2015- Review

In case you missed it:

The TYPS Championships was MIND-BLOWING!

Nine of Southern Arizona’s best youth poets took the stage at Gallagher Theater on April 18th in front of over 160 people. They tackled rough topics such as Ferguson, education cuts, beauty standards, having children, illnesses, and religion, all while blowing the audience out of the water!

The theater was full of snaps and cheers for two and a half hours, drawing in passers-by and welcoming them in. We also had TWO special guest poets this year— Troy Osaki from Seattle opened us up, along with our feature, Mercedez Holtry from Albuquerque! They were absolutely amazing, and we are so glad they were able to be a part of this.

Continuing the tradition from last year, we were able to give the annual Sparkplug award to long-time TYPS supporter Adela Lincona, who gave us a moving speech about letting your voice be heard through poetry and social justice. We must say it again: thank you, Adela!

This could not have been possible without so many people, including our guest judges, Marc David Pinate, Terè Fowler Chapman, Amy Briseño, Mari Herraras, and Martina Dawley. We also had so many wonderful volunteers, including Jira-soul, our guest DJ; Enrique, our scorekeeper; Zami, our score reader; José, our timekeeper; Jason, our videographer; and Derrick, our photographer. Thank you’s are also in order to our two beautiful hosts, Zack and Araceli! We are also so grateful for every poet who participated— you are the beautiful backbone of TYPS! And finally, thank you to YOU, our audience and support system. You helped make all of this possible!

Congratulations to this year’s winners!

1st place: Eva S.

2nd Place: Lydia H.

3rd Place: Louie V.

Also, congratulations to this year’s participants!

Mackenzie S.

Paola V.

Zoe K.

Nichole S.

Rainna M.

Ames S.

We had an awesome time at our very first summer slam on May 16th! We’ll have a review up of that soon, written by a guest blogger! Until next time…

Tucson Youth Poetry Slam, March 2015- Review

by Guest Blogger Eva S.! 

The Tucson Youth Poetry Slam had an amazing last slam of the season! The excited poets and audience left an impression appropriate for our 5th season!

Our 5:00 PM workshop was lead by Spoken Future’s very own: Sarah Gonzales! Poets used their creative minds to create very different poems and stories on a very common topic—shoes. Personifying footwear and using satire our workshop participants used humor and wit to illustrate issues like social class and feeling left out. Also, a reminder that workshop participants do get first dibs on the slam!

Because the TYPS mic has been poppin’ lately, we had to make cuts to our sign up list in order to keep our three-round slams. Everyone in the workshop was guaranteed a spot and cuts were made to those signing up after. Another reason to go to the workshop!

Poets blew the audience away, leaving everyone’s snapping fingers sore and the word “PREACH” echoing in everyone’s ears. Our feature poet Chezale brought a totally different vibe to the mic that night! Everyone was taken back by her hip hop number, including a song from her new album “MAVMUZIK.”

The slam was definitely a wonderful way to celebrate World Poetry Day and we’d like to thank everyone involved. A huge thank you to Bentley’s for being our place to be every third Saturday. Thank you to our beautiful hosts Araceli and Apple. And as always thank you for our volunteers; DJ Jirasol, videographer, timekeeper, and scorekeeper.

Don’t forget our all-city championships are next month! We want this to be our biggest championships EVER! April 18th (third Saturday) from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM at the Gallagher Theatre at the University of Arizona Student Union (1303 E. University Blvd — parking in 2nd St Garage). Check out youth and special performance by Alburquerque’s Mercedez Holtry. As always it is free! Also, if you are a poet who has slammed during the 2014 – 2015 season be sure to sign up here:
Congratulations to this month’s winners!

First Place: Mackenzie

Second Place: Itzel

Third Place: Eva

 

Highest scoring first timer: Alondra!


See you all at the championships!

Tucson Youth Poetry Slam, January 2015- Review

We at TYPS rang in the new year by BREAKING EVEN MORE RECORDS! With a whopping twenty-six poets on the mic (four of which were teachers!), and a crowd that went all the way out the door of Bentley’s, this was a slam you had to see to believe!

The night started off at 5:00 PM with a workshop by teacher and long-time TYPS supporter Teresa Driver. Teresa had our participating poets draw a map of a place where something important occurred, then gave them a list of prompts, like “Write about the most blood you’ve ever seen within your map” or “Write about a time you screamed”. As the workshop went on, more poets trickled in, and by 6:00 PM, Bentley’s was packed!

Our record-breaking first annual Teacher Slam was a huge success! Teachers and youth went hand-in-hand with their poetry, tackling topics such as being revolutionary, cancer, grandmothers, being Native American, and being an ally. We also had our incredible feature, Kai M. Green, spit absolute truth about racism, childhood trials, and losing people you love.

Because we had so many poets on the mic (let’s say it again: TWENTY-SIX!), there ended up only being ONE round for the entire slam. But no matter what, it was still a night of fire. Thank you to Bentley’s for being the very best venue a slam could ask for. Thank you to our spectacular co-hosts, Araceli and Enrique. Thank you to our volunteer videographer, timekeeper and scorekeeper. Thank you to our special guest, DJ Dirtyverbs, for spinning some amazing jams! Thank you to our spotlight poet, Louie V., for a phenomenal poem to close out a phenomenal night (which you can see here). And of course, thank you to the poets and the audience! This would never, ever be possible without you!

Congratulations to this month’s winners!

Overall slam:

Eva S.

Paola V.

Zoe K.

First-timer’s slam:

Alondra V.

First annual teacher slam:

Martina D.

See you all on February 21st! Same time, same place, more information to come. In the meantime, check out these videos from our feature and our winner!

Tucson Youth Poetry Slam, December 2014- Review

“AMAZING” is perhaps the only word to describe how our 4th Annual Family Slam went! Another night of amazing poetry, amazing family members on the mic, an amazing crowd… just amazing!

The night kicked off with a writing workshop run by Spoken Futures staff members Lydia and Maya and centered around Langston Hughes’ “Mother to Son”. The workshop was followed by the community meeting where youth talked about recent police brutality cases against African Americans. Youth constructed a poem using lines from 30 different poems about police violence by poets of color. (you can see that here).

At the slam, we had ELEVEN competing poets, EIGHT of which were first timers! We witnessed an amazing piece from our December Spotlight Poet, Lydia H. (whose performance you can see here).  Our families got on the mic too!  We heard from a grandmother, a mother and a sister who each shared stories of how TYPS has impacted them and the youth in their family. Our fearless slam hosts, Ara and Enrique made it a fantastic night! Bentley’s was vibrating from all the love!

Big thanks again to all the volunteers who make the TYPS run! Thank you to Bentley’s House of Coffee and Tea for staying open late for us (special thanks to Mia Barista who found our lost microphones!).

Congratulations to this month’s winners!

Overall slam:

 

  1. Louie V.

  2. Zoe K.

  3. Chloe W.

 

First timer’s slam:

 

  1. Jessica Q.

 

On behalf of everyone at Spoken Futures, Inc. and the Tucson Youth Poetry Slam, we hope you all have very happy holidays! We will see you at our first slam of 2015, on January 17th. Much love!

 

Check out this video from December’s winner! Please visit our YouTube channel to see all the family videos and much more!

 

 

Tucson Youth Poetry Slam, November 2014: Review

During this time where we are able to reflect on what we are thankful for, we at the Tucson Youth Poetry Slam are SO thankful for everybody who made it to the November Slam!

It all started with the workshop led by TYPS alumni and Spoken Futures staff member, Enrique Garcia! Enrique’s workshop focused on writing creative nonfiction. Each poet wrote about a specific historical event that had stuck with them, ranging from the passing of SB1070 to the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire to the Spanish Inquisition. That night, Enrique also did double the work by featuring AND DJ-ing! Reading from his book Tortoise Boy Says (published by Spoken Futures Press in 2014), Enrique gave us poems that were as diverse and powerful as Tucson itself.

There were THIRTEEN poets on the mic and NINE first timers! Poets spoke on a diverse range of lived experiences from dealing with the death of a loved one to not feeling accepted by family. If you didn’t attend the slam, you also missed out on a poem about a killer pomegranate! The November slam showcased all our super fierce poets and we can’t wait to see them on the mic again in December!

We, as always, have many people to thank from the bottom of our hearts. Thank you to our volunteer videographer, scorekeeper and timekeeper. Thank you to DJ Queue (aka Enrique Garcia) for spinning the greatest jams. Thank you to Cecilia M., last month’s winner, for a wonderful spotlight feature (which you can see here!). Thank you to Bentley’s House of Coffee and Tea for staying open late for us and being a wonderful sanctuary for young poets. And as always, thank YOU– yes, you. You, the one who drove through post-football-game traffic to get to TYPS on time. You, who donated during both baskets pass-arounds. You, who couldn’t make it to the November slam, but swore you’d make it to the next one while watching all of the YouTube videos. Thank you to all of you for your support. It means so, so much.

Congratulations to this month’s winners!

Overall slam:

 

  1. Lydia H.

  2. Louie V.

  3. Christiana S.

 

First timer’s slam:

 

  1. Verena M.

 

REMINDER: The December slam is on the second Saturday, not the third. Poets, also remember to bring your family! If you do, you’ll be entered into a super special raffle. See you then! In the meantime, check out these videos from our feature and our winner:

 

Tucson Youth Poetry Slam, October 2014- Review

The October Tucson Youth Poetry Slam was a night full of tricks AND treats, just in time for Halloween! Breaking even more records in a night full of amazing poetry, this was a night we are glad we did not miss!

Poets started out at 5:00 PM with a workshop led by the feature,Tere Fowler-Chapman. The prompt asked what exactly went “bump” in the night, and the answers were haunting. Tere also got the poets to practice performing their own writing. We really loved that! During Tere’s feature, she dropped wisdom on topics such as love, growing up, and racism.

The slam itself had a whopping THIRTEEN poets competing, TEN of which were first-timers! Each and every one of them shared poems that were absolutely from the heart, and amazing. A total of 22 poems from competitors that night gave the audience insight on everything from mothers to substance abuse to the science of the body to cars! This slam was the definition of bravery. It reminded us all that Tucson Youth Poetry Slam is a community. We are a family.

As always, we must give all of our thanks to our volunteers working the camera, scorekeeping and timekeeping. Bentley’s House of Coffee and Tea: MUCHAS GRACIAS for housing our slam and serving us the most wonderful food and drink. And, of course, thank you to everybody who attended! You are our backbone, our absolute foundation of support. Without you, we wouldn’t have broken ANOTHER attendance and donation record, with the second consecutive standing-room-only audience, AND a total of $404 made in donations!

Congratulations to this month’s winners!

Overall Slam:

  1. Cecilia M.
  2. Louie V.
  3. Lydia H.

First Timers’ Slam:

  1. Anna C.

Our next slam is Saturday, November 15th! Same time, same place! Until then, check out these videos from our feature and winner!

Tucson Youth Poetry Slam, September 2014 (Season Kick Off)- Review

At the Tucson Youth Poetry Slam’s 2014-2015 Season Kick Off this past Saturday…

WE BROKE RECORDS!

With a crowd of over 100 that went all the way to the very back of Bentley’s, eight first-timers,  AND a whopping $500 funded in donations, we made history, and it’s all thanks to YOU!

We started it all off with a workshop run by our feature, Marc David Pinate, a national slam champion and now a local theater artist. Marc led our poets in a free write exercise before having them read and analyze the poem You Bring Out the Mexican in Me by Sandra Cisneros, followed by more writing.  Marc’s feature after Round One was both hilarious and moving, tackling topics such as Spanish Mass and Rumi.

The season kicked off with eleven competing poets, and each one of them spilled their heart across that stage. Poems about science, racism, mediums, the definition of “real problems”, and so much more! Bentley’s was full of snaps, claps and cheers! To keep our energy going, DJ Queue and DJ Jira-Soul spun the coolest mixes thru the night.

The September slam was a full-blown example of what community is about and what it does. We here at TYPS are so grateful for each and every one of our supporters. We thank Bentley’s House of Coffee and Tea for staying open late and allowing so many people to come in. Thank you to our volunteers who video, keep time and score. As always, we show great gratitude to everyone who attended in full force! Your donations are appreciated and your support is what keeps this youth space growing.

Congratulations to this month’s winners!

Overall slam:

 

  1. Cecilia M.

  2. Eva S.

  3. Lydia H.

 

First timer’s slam:

 

  1. Bryce P.

 

Our next slam will be on Saturday, October 18th! Same time, same place. Hope to see you there! In the meantime, check out this video from our winner!

Tucson Youth Poetry Slam, July 2014- Review

July Summer Slam Packed!

For the July Summer Slam, TYPS held its first ever Costume Slam! Check out the videos to see all the amazing and creative costumes and the poetry that went along with it.  If you missed it, here is a rundown of the night:

Hosts Alexia V. and Gabi G. led an amazing writing workshop, followed by a community meeting where poets talk about how they are involved in the community and help to make decisions for upcoming slams. Then Alexia and Gabi led us into an evening full of energy and creativity!

The July slam had 10 competing poets, half of which were first timers! Poets were able to gain an extra half a point on their scores if they were in costume. Whether a poet was reading a persona poem, or just something they were working on at the time, they brought Bentley’s an out-of-this-world energy!

Big thank you’s to our volunteers: videographer, timekeeper, and scorekeeper, as well as TYPS Coordinator Araceli for both live-tweeting AND DJ-ing! As always, we are incredibly thankful to our venue, Bentley’s House of Coffee and Tea, for staying open late for us and being lovely as ever.

Congrats to this month’s winners!

Overall slam:

1. Lydia H.
2. Zoe K.
3. Eva S.

First timer’s slam:

1. Leena G.

Our very last summer slam of 2014 will be AUGUST 16TH! The theme will be: DUET SLAM, as suggested in our community meeting! Come with a partner to spit some poems with, OR come by yourself and we’ll pair you up with someone!

Enjoy this video from our July Slam winner!

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