by Patrick Ohslund
Jasmine Schlafke is a poet, activist and mother from Santa Cruz, CA dedicated to expression and art. She earned her spot on a National poetry team for the last three years and is teaching slam in alternative high school settings, weekly. In her free time Jasmine volunteers for a mental health network and remains committed to mental health activism and liberation.
Please choose one of these songs as it is absolutely necessary for one of them to serve as background music before preceding.
Last night the Berkeley Poetry Slam‘s guiding force over the last couple of years stepped down from her official slam master duties. Betsy Gomez has worked tirelessly to promote, organize, and ensure that Bay Area poets have a weekly space to perform, create, and engage with one another. For a lot of us the Berkeley Poetry Slam is a home and Betsy’s commitment to providing us with one extends back to when the original founder of the show, Ekhabhumi Charles Ellik, was still the slam master. She has watched a lot of us grow and become better artists. She’s been there to cheer us on, she’s been there as a friend, she’s fed us, shared drinks with us– she is one of us, happy to see us shine while doing all of the necessary and important work that rarely shines the spotlight on her.
Thank you so much, Betsy, for everything you have done. We love you. We’re excited to see what’s to come. You’re always family and please let us know how we can support you as you have always been there to support us.
Forgive us for the lack of updates over the past year but we intend to make this a nice little hub for not only Bay Area slam poetry, but what’s going on in the world of poetry. As you know the Berkeley Slam is one of the longest running poetry slams in the country and we have hosted some phenomenal artists over the years and not only do we want to honor the poetry what is happening now but the poetry and performance that artists that have come through the Berkeley Slam have done in the past and continue to engage in today.
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