Stage set for National Youth Poetry Slam

Stage set for National Youth Poetry Slam

Performance poetry

Stage set for National Youth Poetry Slam

The city’s flourishing performance poetry community is eagerly awaiting September 17 when the first National Youth Poetry Slam (NYPS) will be held in Bengaluru.

Organised by Airplane Poetry Movement and Campus Diaries, the two-day event at Lotus Convention Centre will witness performances by celebrated slam poets from the country and young talents from schools and colleges. To the excitement of ardent followers of performance poetry, legendary American poet Sarah Kay and artiste Kalki Koechlin will perform at NYPS 2016.

Performance poetry is an art form in which individuals perform original compositions, often in a dramatised form or as a monologue, at competitions which are known as slams.

For this national-level slam, auditions started three months ago. Students from over 100 colleges took part and 25 teams of three participants each were selected from colleges in several cities such as Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Kolkata and Chennai. Ten teams from several schools will also be competing at the slam.

Besides the competition, participants have a rewarding lineup of sessions to look forward to. Slam Out Loud, an initiative to empower youth from marginalised communities with poetry, will bring 12 children from Delhi to perform their pieces.

Professors from colleges in the city and the University of Illinois will discuss the benefits of spoken word poetry and how it makes young students more creative and opinionated. To bring the focus on slam poetry in regional languages, there will be dedicated sessions for Kannada and Hindi poems and one for Indian sign language too! Popular comedian Biswa Kalyan Rath will be performing a stand-up act as well. Shantanu Naik, founder of Airplane Poetry Movement, said, “Just two years ago, hardly anyone knew what performance poetry was and now there are at least three poetry slams happening every month in the city.”

Excited by the exponential increase in the level of awareness, he pointed out that spoken word poetry is breaking barriers with youngsters from different fields actively taking part. The event already has close to 900 registrations and more people are expected to purchase tickets.

Sumit Saurav, the CEO of Campus Diaries, is overwhelmed by the response the event has received from all over the country. “The response is way beyond what I expected. I am not a poet myself, so I am taken aback by how active the community is and their love for slam poetry.” he said.

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