WHO ARE WE?
We are the top competitors in the 2014 season of the Words That Kill Slam hosted by the Lethal Poetry Collective! We are traveling to Oakland, CA in August to represent Chicago in the National Poetry Slam!
The Lethal Poetry Slam Team includes Eric Sirota, Blythe Baird, Nate Olison, Torrey Shineman, Bryant Cross, & Mojdeh Stoakley (coach)!
Our team is extremely unique. Between a recent high school grad, a lawyer-by-day-rapper-by-night, two young college professors, musician-poets, and two youth educators, we are diversely derivative of 3 continents and a multitude of cultures.
We have 3 members traveling a minimum of 3 hrs a week each way just to write, critique, collaborate, and practice together! The cost of travel just to maintain our togetherness and collaboration has been mounting alone! We also have one of the youngest team members in the history of the National Poetry Slam, she turns 18 on the FIRST DAY of competition. If her birthday was one day later, she couldn't participate at all.
What We Need & What You Get
Competing on a national level adds up...
- The registration was $500, hotel will cost $1500, and $300-550 for ea of our airfare, plus cost of food and public transportation while we're there.
- The team is filled with interdiciplinary fine artist and educators! We are excited to offer you published poetry, custom poetry, audible poetry, visual art, handmade goods, and creative services!
- If we don't reach our entire goal, we may have to sell our organs for plane tickets... we each have two kidneys... if we must... we must... but... help us keep not do that!
This trip is not the first national level competition for all members, but for some it is. These competitions don't create careers on their own but they play a big roll in how many of us maintain our rolls as educators & continue to develop our craft:
- Nate & Mojdeh are both non-traditional educators working in underserved communities! Their programs are wildly underfunded, but competing nationally reminds folks that these are poets that have professional skills that youth could wholly benefit from!
- Torrey & Bryant are both young college professors!
- Two of us represented Chicago at the Individual World Poetry Slam in 2013, Eric (Mental Graffiti rep) & Mojdeh (LP rep)
- Blythe is just a beast! 17 years of beast! But she turns 18 the first day of festival so we get to celebrate her fierceness in competition!
Risks & Challenges
Our biggest difficulties are that since we don't all live in Chicago we have to prioritize team practice in our together-time instead of also using that time for a substantial number of team features and other fundraising performances! So we're really relying on folks to get excited about this digital campaign to raise funds! And not all members of the team can participate in all venues that could/would have us anyhow because of age, etc.
Other Ways You Can Help
If you can't help with a monetary donation you can still support us by...
- Sharing this link!
- Coming to the fundraiser shows and bringing friends!
- Asking a small business owner if they'd like to sponsor us