The Poetry has been Slammed

Me and Emma went downtown to perform Slam Poetry! It felt super edgy.


The smoke from the cafe fills my senses. The music that keeps playing seems to be immeasurably loud – am I the only one that thinks so? Maybe I am just nervous; after all, in ten minutes or less I will be up on this stage in front of me, presenting a poem that I have poured my heart and soul into, for a bunch of strangers that may or may not be incredibly judgemental.

But as the MC takes the mike and introduces the Youth Poetry Slam, much of my anxiety fades away. The crowd is as far away from judgemental as any crowd can be or has ever been, and the poets that go up are warmly received. When my name is called… I am ready to go.

I am still freaked out enough that for most of poem, I keep my eye’s tightly shut.

However, the roar of the applause after I am finished forces me to daringly glance through my closed eyelids, and I walk back to my seat in a sort of happy daze.

I get my score, and I advance to the second round, where I placed fourth out of the ten performers. Afterwards, some of the other poets came over to congratulate me, and many were incredibly surprised to find out I was 14.

I found a mentor, in the form of Jacob Grenebwold, an experienced spoken word performer and a major component in the Youth Slam organization. I will write more about him later… but he seems pretty rad, so far.

I was introduced to some really outstanding poets, technically qualified for the National Youth Spoken Word Team (although as I joined late in the season, this is incredibly unlikely), and had a blast.

It was just an incredibly successful night. It felt surreal. It was surreal. It seems as though a whole new avenue of possibilities has just opened up, and I can see myself actually doing something with poetry for my life.

A huge, HUGE shout-out to my poetry partner-in-crime, Emma, who not only went with me to perform, but also placed FIRST PLACE in the Youth Slam, which is an incredible achievement especially as this was our first time performing and we were the youngest poets there. If this is where we start, I am so excited to dream about where we could finish.

Now, I am writing this rather late at night as I simply cannot get it out of my head, so the Youtube Videos with Emma’s and my performances will be linked as soon as they come out. Maybe tomorrow, maybe in a few days… we will see!


  1. Way to go Jamie and Emma. That took a lot of encourage. Love to hear more of your slam poems during the Coffee House on Feb. 7th.

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