By: Barri Tiggle
Kentwood (Richard L. Root) Branch library is hosting its first live and uncensored spoken word poetry slam competition on Tuesday, May 17 from 7-8 pm.
There were up to 300 entries from Kent county residents between the grades of 6 through 12. The event is free and open to all general public. The event was created based on the original 13th Annual Teen Poetry Contest held at the KDL branch.
“We decided to add a spoken word component in an effort to breathe a little life into the event, and hopefully attract a segment of kids who otherwise have no outlet for their creativity,” said Greg Lewis KDL Teen Paraprofessional.
Poets are supposed to submit their work online in hopes of being selected. “We amped it up to get more teens involved,” said Carlita Gonzalez, KDL Program and Outreach Specialist.
There are two different categories for the competition, which are written and spoken word. Any submissions are automatically added into the competition.
“GF Korreck will be judging the written portion only,” said Kelsey May, a member of The Diatribe Staff. The Diatribe is an organization used to empower individuals through written and spoken word. Their values consist of helping others cope with challenges and struggles, while finding their own voice and story through the use of poetry. The Diatribe will be participating in the KDL poetry slam event as the master of ceremonies, also known as emcees.
Each winner will be given a prize. The prizes given away are centered on a book and music theme and will be provided by Schuler Books. 20 winners will be chosen, ten from the written portion and ten from the spoken word, and given a $50 gift card. All winning entries will be showcased on the KDL website’s Teen page. As of right now the event is not set as an annual event.
“As long as there is interest, we hope to offer this event, we are definitely planning on next year,” said Lewis.