Spitting Verse and Slamming Barriers
A groundbreaking team of female poets shakes up the often male-dominated world of competitive poetry.
Photo courtesy Greenelight Photography
Roya Marsh clasps her hands at the base of her spine. She stands alongside Katherine George, as their heads peer over a sculpture of a young black boy at Kara Walker’s “A Subtlety” at the Domino Sugar factory in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. George, twenty-one, wears a long, navy-blue dress, crocheted webbing adorning her upper back. Marsh, twenty-five, wears a white T-shirt that says, “I MET GOD, SHE’S BLACK,” track pants, and neon yellow mesh sneakers. George and Marsh continue to slowly and silently traverse the exhibit in unison.
It’s early June, and the women are two of the four poets on the first ever all-female poetry slam team for both their venue, the legendary Nuyorican Poets Café, and all of New York City’s poetry slam history. The team is here for their third practice in what will be a summer-long process preparing to compete against over seventy other teams from around North America at the 25th National Poetry Slam, which would take place in…
Keep reading with a 7-day free trial