YVC’s welcomes return of Black Box Poetry Slam

On Thursday, April 6, 2023, Yakima Valley College in partnership with LiTFUSE will host the annual Black Box Poetry Slam in the Raymond Hall Library, Building 7, on the Yakima Campus. Doors open for sign up at 6:00 p.m., event will begin at 6:30 p.m. Admission is $2 cash, which becomes the prize pot for the top three artists. All forms of spoken word are welcome. Performers are expected to have five poems/spoken word pieces prepared and there is a three-minute time limit for each piece.

“Slam isn’t your grandpa’s poetry, even though plenty of grandpas do it! It’s not all angry poetry either,” says former longtime event organizer and instructor Mark Fuzie. “The time limit is what keeps the show moving.”

According to Fuzie, the origins of slam poetry and the time limit come from Chicago. Original organizers thought anyone could listen to three minutes of bad poetry, so the time limit grew.

“While most early slammers drew inspiration from the beat poets, nowadays people draw from everywhere, hip-hop and rap, Spanglish or Calo, accents and rhythms from native languages, and really, as many Englishes there are, there are that many kinds of slam poetry. Slam also defies print, that is, if you try to write it out, you lose some of the performance aspects. It’s just a lot of fun,” he continued.

The contest is open to the public. Come get loud, click, clap, stomp and hear great poetry! For more information contact Samuel Faulk at 509.574.4985 or samuelfaulk@yvcc.edu.

Dustin Wunderlich / 509.574.6870 / dwunderlich@yvcc.edu
Stefanie Menard / 509.574.4646 / smenard@yvcc.edu