Kelly Miller, from left, Rachel Greene, Scarlett Pedersen and Brian McCracken practice for the 2016 National Poetry Slam. Greene and McCracken will compete Thursday in the Olympia Poetry Grand Slam. Tony Overman Staff file, 2016
Kelly Miller, from left, Rachel Greene, Scarlett Pedersen and Brian McCracken practice for the 2016 National Poetry Slam. Greene and McCracken will compete Thursday in the Olympia Poetry Grand Slam. Tony Overman Staff file, 2016

Arts & Culture

Verse versus verse as 8 poets compete in the Olympia Poetry Grand Slam

By Jeffrey P. Mayor

jmayor@thenewstribune.com

April 10, 2017 07:17 PM

UPDATED April 15, 2017 07:52 AM

Eight of Olympia’s top performance poets will go head to head at the third annual Olympia Poetry Grand Slam Thursday. They will be competing for one of four spots on the 2017 Olympia Poetry Slam Team.

Taking part will be Rachel Greene, Tessa Andrascik, Taylor Bereiter, Dan Evans, Jazlyn Jacobs, Brian McCracken, Locke HB and Lennee Reid.

The poetry slam also will feature performances poet and activist Matt Sedillo, Washington’s poet laureate Tod Marshall, and Olympia’s first poet laureate Amy Solomon-Minarchi.

The event will be hosted by local comedian Sam Miller.

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“The Olympia Poetry Grand Slam highlights the accomplished poets who have competed in slams throughout its 2016-17 season,” said McCracken, who also is Olympia People’s Mic slammaster. The group organizes the slam series.

During the season, local poets who have competed for the team have used their poetry to speak about personal, political and social issues, McCracken said. The topics have included racism, sexism, war, poverty, crime, the media’s portrayal of women, homophobia, transmisogyny, identity and trauma.

The idea behind the slams, McCracken said, is to “provide unique artistic opportunities to poets in Olympia to share their messages on a national platform and bring those experiences and learning back to invigorate and expand Olympia’s poetry community.”

Once the Olympia team is selected, the members will train with professional poets and performers in preparation for the 2017 National Poetry Slam to be held in August in Denver.

Thursday’s event will run 7-10 p.m. at Woman’s Club of Olympia, 1002 Washington St. SE, Olympia. The doors will open at 6 p.m.

Tickets in advance are $10, $7 for seniors and $5 for youths, or $14, $10 and $7 at the door. They can be purchased at olygrandslam.eventbrite.com.

For more information, contact McCracken at ogpoetrycollective@gmail.com.

Jeffrey P. Mayor: 253-597-8640

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