The Breaking Ground Poets held their first poetry slam of the season on the second floor of the AfA Gallery in downtown Scranton on Saturday, March 26, letting 10 young poets express themselves for the chance to be heard and advance to the Brave New Voices poetry slam competition and festival in Washington, D.C. in July.
After sacrificial poet Rachel Reichle opened the event, Jake Reilly, Maddy Clara Brozusky, Julia Evans, Mason Crawford, Bobby Hunt, Olivia Romano, Jesse Westfield, Hayden Nichols, Madisyn Lowe, and Nadine Daley all recited powerful, honest pieces from the heart in front of a panel of judges who scored them on both content and presentation over three rounds. Hunt came in first, Romano was second, and Crawford received third place. Mark Dennebaum, president and owner of TwentyFiveEight Studios, hosted the evening.
Under the direction of Tunkhannock Area High School English teacher Katie Wisnosky, BGP is “a volunteer-run organization rooted in the belief of storytelling, self-expression, and educational programming,” so the slams are just part of what the organization does throughout the year, including co-hosting the Youth Scene Open Mics with NEPA Scene every first Wednesday of the month at Adezzo in Scranton.
The next qualifying poetry slam will be held on Saturday, April 23 at the AfA Gallery at 6 p.m. For more information, see the Facebook event page.
Learn more about the Breaking Ground Poets in Episode 19 of the NEPA Scene Podcast.
by Rich Howells
Rich is an award-winning journalist, longtime blogger, adequate photographer, podcast co-host, and practicing poet. He is the founder and editor of NEPA Scene.