This week, Denver is hosting the 2017 National Poetry Slam. Events will be held all over the city from Tuesday through Saturday as 80 teams compete for the title of National Poetry Slam Champion.
“National Poetry Slam is the team sport of poetry slams,” explains Host City Co-Chair and NPS organizer Danielle Brooks. “Teams are qualified in their local region from a Poetry Slam Inc. officiated slam venue. They have their own competitive local slams throughout the year to qualify team members that are selected by the community to send out to Nationals as a representative of their city.”
Though the event is huge, with over 100 events over the course of six days, Brooks says the traditional grassroots feel of poetry slams is still present.
“There’s no source that’s off limits, there’s no topic that you can’t cover and I think that not only allows the artists to be themselves, but it allows the audience to connect with each artist on a level that makes them feel understood. That within itself fosters a very strong community of trust.”
She encourages everyone to come to a National Poetry Slam event.
“The main question I usually ask someone who’s never been to a poetry slam is what are you waiting for? It’s not snaps and exclusive, large words used and unpleasantries of that nature. If you’ve never seen someone crack their ribcage open and reveal to you the most vulnerable parts of their humanity in the most eloquent way possible with a roomful of people of people watching and supporting them, you just have to be there for yourself.”
Tickets are still available for semifinal and final bouts at npsdenver.com. Denver’s own Slam Nuba team will be taking on three other teams in a preliminary slam on Tuesday night. There are numerous free, public open mics and workshops throughout the week. You can find a full list at npsdenver.com.