Slam in the Symphony Hall: Youth Speaks Grand Slam Finals this Friday!

Is it physically possible to overdose on poetry?

Over the last three weeks, I’ve heard over 250 poets in 8 preliminary slams, 4 semi-final slams, last-minute workshops before the slam, street-side ciphers after the slam — shit, I hear metaphors and similes in my dreams every night.

Dreams, I say. Not nightmares.

It’s true, I have heard more poems over the last three weeks (really, ten years) than you probably want to hear over the course of your whole life, but all I have to say to that is: sucks to be you. Lucky to be me.

Welcome to the glory & the gluttony that is the Youth Speaks Teen Poetry Slam.

Oh, the slam. You are the reason I haven’t taken my girl out on a Friday night all month (sorry, baby), the reason why I haven’t written much here on the site (sorry, my three devoted readers), and yes, the reason why I am exhausted AND ecstatic.

All month here in the Bay has been an an amazing showcase of new school poetics, true community, democratized radical art, and just hella cool young people. What can I say? I love my job.

A million brilliant poems later, and here we are at the Grand Slam Finals. If you’ve ever been to the Finals before, you know it’s a can’t-miss event. The energy, the spirit, the struggle — it’s not just the 17 finalists, it’s the 2,500 people in the crowd who all go on the beautiful, chaotic journey of the slam together.

And this year, we’re making that trip in style. Ladies, get your hair done; fellas, get that tux ready; because this year’s Grand Slam Finals is going down at the Davies Symphony Hall in San Francisco. Usually home to world-class orchestras, for one night only we’re turning the Symphony Hall into the greatest lyricist lounge since Wordsworth himself. (The one from Brooklyn, not England.)

So come boo the judges, feel the love, and enjoy a night of inter-generational cultural liberation. Or…sit home and watch another episode of House. Your call. Here’s the details below for the correct choice.

Youth Speaks Teen Poetry Slam: Grand Slam Finals
Friday, May 20
Hosted by Rafael Casal & Chinaka Hodge
Davies Symphony Hall
201 Van Ness Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94102
(near Civic Center BART)
Click here to Buy Tickets!

Not convinced yet? Here’s a taste of what you’ll get. Mahaliyah O performing at the 2007 Grand Slam Finals, as seen here on HBO’s Brave New Voices: