Minot High School students will have a chance to share their love of poetry at 2 p.m. Sunday during Minot’s Second Teen Poetry SLAM. They will also hear nationally acclaimed slam poet Guante, from Minneapolis, perform and act as master of ceremonies.
The event will take place in Aleshire Theater in Minot State University’s Hartnett Hall.
Joe Davis, one of the organizers, said the poetry slam is a chance to students to share their creativity with a wider audience. Each poem they perform must be written by the student and be an original composition. The performance can’t include costumes, props or musical instruments.
“It’s just the students and their voice,” said Davis. “They have about three minutes to perform.”
Topics can be about anything the student chooses. The quality of the poem and the performance will be judged by a panel of local judges.
“It’s just about students, young people being empowered to share their voices and showing that their voices are valued and appreciated,” said Davis.
Davis, a Minot High School graduate and poet who lives in Minneapolis, said this is the kind of event he always wanted for himself when he was a teenager.
“When I was in high school I always wished that I had opportunities like this, as a poet and enthusiast for creative language,” said Davis. “I wanted to create that space for high school students in my home town and give them what I’ve never had.”
The poetry slam was born after Minot High English teacher Angy Edison invited Davis to speak to her students one year and discuss the history and culture of slam poetry. Edison is also one of the organizers of the event.
Davis said the first prize for the winner will be an iPad. Other competitors will receive other prizes, donated by area businesses.
More than 15 students are scheduled to perform at the event, which is free and open to the public.
Davis said he will continue to be involved with the event and hopes to open the competition up to students from area high schools next year.
Guante is also scheduled to perform for students at Magic City Campus on Friday and at Pangea House in Minot on Saturday.