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Bringing Chicago's freshest poets to the National Poetry Slam.
Hillary Watson
Chicago, Illinois
United States
3 Team Members

Who We Are

The Mental Graffiti Poetry Slam team is on its way to represent Chicago at the National Poetry Slam for the 10th year. We're excited to introduce this year's team: Billy Tuggle, George, Hillary Kobernick, and Logan Lu. This is a tremendously diverse group with a range of experience; Billy is in his 10th year of slamming competitively, while Logan Lu has never been on a team before.

Unfortunately, the National Poetry Slam is an expensive event and we need your help to cover the costs. That's where you come in! With your help, we will be able to share our art and make an impact on audiences across the country.

Why We Need You

We've been fundraising for this event all year and are now asking for your help. The money we raise through Indiegogo will cover the cost of our hotel while we travel. Here are some of the other expenses involved in going to the National Poetry Slam:
  • Even though all of us will stay in the same hotel room, costs add up. Six nights in the hotel is about $1050.
  • Plane tickets are also expensive. For the four of us, plane tickets are about $1800.
  • Each team registers with Poetry Slam Inc. and pays dues to support future poetry events; this totals $580.
  • While we're in Oakland, we also need to do basic things, like eat. Even if we live off peanut butter and saltines, we'll eat more than $150 of peanut butter during the week.

The Impact

Slam poetry began in Chicago in the 1980's, and since then Chicago has been bringing the sexy back into poetry. Three of the four team members on the 2014 team are Chicago natives their work reflects their lives growing up on the South Side and West Side. Slam is an exchange of stories--we'll bring our work to a national audience and return with stories of other poets from all over North America. This experience will not only hone our poetry skills, but give us the tools to create new open mics, events, and mentor youth in Chicago.

For years, Mental Graffiti has been a place to mentor Chicago's youth poets; invite new poets onto the scene and hone their skills; integrate the diversity of the city; connect people across race, class, and social barriers; give voice to those marginalized by Chicago's political system; and create the sort of Chicago you want to live in.

Risks & Challenges

All poetry is a risk. The four poets on the team have never worked together before, and are working overtime to put together group pieces and create the highest level of work we can present. We are students (George), fathers (Billy and Lu), and pastors (Hillary), and that doesn't leave much time left for poetry. Your donations will allow us to spend more time on poetry and less on fundraising.

Other Ways You Can Help

The 2014 Mental Graffiti Slam Team is about more than just the National Poetry Slam. You can support us by:

  • Coming to the Mental Graffiti Slam at Cole's Bar (2338 N. Milwaukee) the third Monday of every month.
  • Spreading the word to your friends and family and letting them know how much poetry has changed your life.
  • Writing a poem and sharing it with us. We'd love to see you on the team next summer!
Find This Campaign On
raised in 17 days
40% funded
No time left
$1,050 USD goal
Flexible Funding This campaign has ended and will receive all funds raised.
Campaign Closed
This campaign ended on August 5, 2014
Select a Perk
  • $5USD

    Our undying love and affection.

    0 claimed
  • $15USD

    A copy of Like Chicago Love, the Mental Graffiti team chapbook.

    2 claimed
  • $25USD

    The Mental Graffiti team chapbook and a copy of one of the team members' chapbooks.

    2 out of 50 claimed
  • $40USD

    A copy of the Mental Graffiti team chapbook and two team members' chapbooks.

    1 out of 40 claimed
  • $50USD

    The Mental Graffiti chapbook, two individual books, plus a poem written by a team member just for you, to be mailed to you and posted on the Mental Graffiti Facebook page.

    2 out of 40 claimed
  • $75USD

    A copy of the Mental Graffiti chapbook, a poem written just for you, three individual chapbooks, and a signed postcard from Oakland.

    0 out of 30 claimed
  • $100USD

    The Mental Graffiti chapbook, three individual chapbooks, a poem written for you, a signed postcard from Oakland, AND free entry to our Grudge Match show on August 2.

    0 out of 15 claimed
  • $150USD

    The Mental Graffiti chapbook, three individual chapbooks, a signed postcard from Oakland, free entry to our Grudge Match show on August 2, and a poem written for you by each member of the team, booklet-bound and mailed to you.

    1 out of 10 claimed
  • $400USD

    A copy of the Mental Graffiti chapbook, three individual chapbooks, a signed postcard from Oakland, free entry to the Grudge Match, a poem written for you by each member of the team booklet-bound and mailed to you, AND a 1-year subscription to Rattle, one of our favorite literary magazines.

    0 out of 10 claimed
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