Two teams of poets who will be representing DC at national and international poetry competitions will go head to head to raise funds for their trips at the David vs. Goliath Poetry Slam. The slam will be held on Sunday, July 6 from 5 to 8pm at Penn Social, located at 801 E St. NW in Washington, DC. Tickets are $10 in advance at and $20 at the door. As customary within a slam team members will recite 3-5 rounds of original poems no longer than 3 minutes in length that will then be scored by a panel of judges. The motto of slam, in the words of Allan Wolf, “slammaster” of the 1994 National Poetry Slam, is “The points are not the point; the point is poetry.”
The DC Youth Slam Team (DCYST), a program of Split This Rock, will compete at Brave New Voices International Youth Poetry Slam Festival (BNV) in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania from July 16 to 19. Brave New Voices (BNV) is sponsored by Youth Speaks Inc. and boasts of being “the largest ongoing spoken word event in the world.” The festival has been featured on HBO and has the backing of Russell Simmons. In 2013, the DC Youth Slam Team placed 2nd at BNV.
The adults of Beltway Poetry Slam will compete at the 2014 National Poetry Slam (NPS) where their team made it to the semi-finals last year. This year, NPS is held in Oakland, California from August 5 to 9. Described as the “super bowl for performance poetry,” the National Poetry Slam is a program of Poetry Slam Inc. and will include over 70 competing teams this year.
The David vs. Goliath Poetry Slam is a tradition in which a team of youth competes against a team of adults. The 2014 event is sponsored by Split This Rock, a DC non-profit which explores and celebrates the many ways that poetry can act as an agent for change. Through the DC Youth Slam Team as well as other initiatives, Split This Rock offers year-round support to young poets.