NEPA Scene Staff

Breaking Ground Poets hold first poetry slam of the season on Oct. 25

Breaking Ground Poets hold first poetry slam of the season on Oct. 25
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Those who believe the new generation growing up now isn’t as intelligent or ambitious as previous generations haven’t met the Breaking Ground Poets.

They’ll have that opportunity this Saturday, Oct. 25, when the group of young writers from Northeastern Pennsylvania hold their first poetry slam of the season at TwentyFiveEight Studios (703 N. Washington Ave., REAR, Scranton) from 6 p.m.-8 p.m.

Under the direction of Katie Wisnosky, an English teacher from Tunkhannock Area High School, the goal of the poets, ages 14-19, “is to promote creative writing, public speaking, emotional literacy, and civic engagement within the youth writing communities of NEPA,” the group explains on their Facebook page.

“We are a tribe of young people united by our love of poetry, dedicated to self-expression, self-discovery, and bridging the gaps in our community. … Through storytelling and positive reinforcement, we can build a stronger generation of readers, writers, and thinkers.”

The basic rules the BGP adhere to during a poetry slam competition are as follows:

  • Each poem must be 3:30 minutes in length. Scores will be penalized for going over the time limit. Penalties will begin at 3:35, with a .5 point deduction for every 10 seconds overtime. Poets will be asked to leave the stage if they reach 4:10.
  • Participants must perform pieces of their own original writing. Participants who plagiarize will be disqualified. Quoting other works and utilizing literary allusions are not plagiarism.
  • Props, costumes, and/or musical accompaniment may not be used in the slam. Violations will result in a .5 penalty for every infraction.
  • Content matter may not exceed a PG-13 rating. Avoid excessive violence, excessive sexually explicit content, and/or language degrading any group of people. Failure to heed the PG-13 rating will result in a .5 deduction from the poet’s score for each infraction.

15 poets are set to take the stage on Saturday, and tickets are only $5.

“I’ve been writing since I was just a small child and I have not stopped, nor do I plan on it. I can not go a week without writing. I am excited for my first teen poetry slam because I’m interested in hearing what talented students out there have to say. I am looking forward to seeing how people feel and react towards my work. I am definitely psyched to speak and show people things from my point of view,” said BGP newcomer Cassie Miller.

“I am a hip-hop artist from Scranton, PA. I have loved writing for a long time, and hip-hop is my passion. I love making music that has a positive impact on people, and I love interacting with other writers. I aim to make great music, and writing is a daily ritual for me. I love the ability that we have to express ourselves through words. Words are a powerful thing and should not be underestimated. I try to make each thing I write better than the last, and I work hard every day to perfect my craft and be the best emcee I can possibly be,” another new poet, Kevin Parker, commented.

An all-ages open mic will be held beforehand at 4 p.m.-5:30 p.m., so arrive early and stay for the inspiring performances.

Many of the poets’ previous slams are available to watch now on the BGP YouTube channel: