The Berkeley Poetry Slam featuring DANEZ SMITH with spotlight feature GRETCHEN CARVAJAL

The Berkeley Poetry Slam featuring DANEZ SMITH with spotlight feature GRETCHEN CARVAJAL

Bringing you some of the best poetry from across the world, every week, since 2000.

Welcome to the new year, everybody! We hope you had a happy and safe holiday. Next Wednesday the Berkeley Slam returns from a two week hiatus, and we are coming back strong as we welcome IWPS finalist, Cave Canem fellow, and recent transplant from the midwest, Danez Smith, to the Bay Area. We are very fortunate to have him living here and this will be a great opportunity to get a good look as to why so many of us are excited to have him join the community of poets in the Bay.

We’ll also have a special Spotlight Feature set from Youth Speaks alum and current member of the University of Madison’s First Wave program, Gretchen Carvajal. She’ll be raising funds for Typhoon Haiyan relief through sales of her new chapbook, “Daughter of the Sun”.

Sign ups for the slam start at 7:30. The season is in full swing so earn you way to compete for a spot to represent Berkeley at the National Poetry Slam in Oakland in 2014.

Your host for the night will be Toaster, with musical accompaniment by Three Blind Mice



Danez Smith, a Cave Canem Fellow and 2-time Pushcart Nominee, works in Madison, WI, as an Student Advisor for the First Wave Program at UW-Madison. He likes tattoos, bad food, drinking Capri Suns, reading manga and good poems. His work appears or is forthcoming in PANK, Vinyl, Radius, Southern Indiana Review, and other places. He slams sometimes, placing 6th in the world at the 2011 Individual World Poetry Slam. His One-Man Theatre Production “For Those Who Pray In Closets” is receiving critical acclaim and standing ovations wherever performed. Danez has travelled across the country and the globe to Mexico, Panama, Switzerland, and England to perform poetry and theatre. A young artist walking and writing in the footsteps of Baldwin and Hughes, Danez seeks to continue to be a voice for hushed choir boys, the walking shadows, the joy, hurt, and journey of the black, queer men. Pulling from his artistic endeavors in music and theatre, his voice on the page sings of his old soul, his experienced youth, his treasured mistakes, and all the things that imagine him human. 

Upcoming Features:

January 15th Santa Cruz’s Queen Jasmeen with Spotlight Feature: James Church
January 22nd Thadra Sheridan returns to the Bay
January 29th WOWPS finals!

3101 Shattuck Avenue, 510-841-2082
(1 block uphill from the Ashby BART).
$7 – $10 sliding scale (most nights)
Cash Prizes!
Sign-up: 7:30 p.m. Show: 8:30 p.m.
ALL AGES before 10 p.m.

Slam Rules and Info:
Berkeley Slam History:

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