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What Philadelphia Based Poetry Slams Are All About

What Philadelphia Based Poetry Slams Are All About

Every slam event features an acclaimed poet from outside Philadelphia. Before each slam, the featured poet facilitates a free-entry poetry workshop that welcomes writers from all skill levels. The Philly Pigeon Poetry Summer Slam Event boasts amazing poetry from the hilarious and highly energetic hosts and is the perfect way to spend your Friday night.

One of the acclaimed poets to be featured at The Philly Pigeon poetry slam event is Rasheed Copeland from Washington DC. Rasheed Copeland’s works include The Book of Silence, which he published in 2015. Rasheed Copeland is also a two-time recipient of the DC Commission of the Arts and Humanities Fellowship Award, which he won in 2016 and 2017. In 2015, Rasheed was the first runner up at the Individual World Poetry Slam. Rasheed’s work has been featured in online publications such as Pubic Pool and Split This Rock.

Another acclaimed poet who has been featured at The Philly Pigeon poetry slam event is Ashley August. Ashley August is an actress, hip-hop junkie, teaching artist, activist, playwright, author, touring spoken word performer, 3rd-ranked woman poet on the planet, New York City’s 2013 Youth Poet Laureate, ASTEP at Juilliard fellow, and recently included in New York Times’ list of the 30 Most Influential People under 30. Alongside multiple poetic performances, nationwide theatrical performances, and film/television appearances, her credits include TVOne, BET, The GAP, Al Jazeera America, Netflix, Cannes Film Festival, and Sundance TV. Ashley August is the former Slam Master and Curator of the renowned Bowery Poetry Club. With Brooklyn and Belize embedded into August’s art, she is motivated to speak the unspoken truth and push the limits of spoken word and performances to unprecedented realms.

Another acclaimed poet who has graced the stage at the Philly Pigeon Poetry Slam Event is Alyesha Wise. Alyesha Wise is a teaching artist, poet, TEDx speaker from Camden, and author of Carnival. Presently, Alyesha Wise resides in LA where she helped co-found the Spoken Literature Art Movement, which provides extensive programming and poetry education for poets. She is also a teaching artist for Street Poets, a not-for-profit organization that mostly serves youth involved in juvenile injustice. Between 2017 and 2018, Aleysha wise was the head coach of the Da Poetry Lounge Slam, and during the final stage of the National Poetry slam co-coached both teams. In addition, she also co-coached the Get Lit-Words Ignite between 2014 and 2017. She is a two-time finalist of the Poetry Slam, Women of the World. Alyesha Wise has been featured on various publications and platforms, including Free Speech TV, Buzzfeed, POPSUGAR, PBS, Afropunk, Bustle, and Huffington Post, among others. Aleysha Wise has collaborated with Brave New Films, The Nantucket Project, South California’s ACLU. She was also featured in the Google Interstellar Project and the hit movie Interstellar. Aleysha Wise’s work was once described by Ron Howard as, “Very Powerful.”

If you are a poetry enthusiast near Philadelphia and are looking for some fun events in the area, you need to look no further than The Philly Pigeon Poetry Slam Event. It is a great way to spend your Friday night. The energetic and hilarious host, alongside the acclaimed poets featured in the event ensure that it is a night to remember.

Post written by Henry Wallace. Henry is an arts and entertainment writer who has written for publications such as NYMag, Vulture, LTC Tree, and Communication Arts.

Some Members of the Philly Pigeon

Some Members of the Philly Pigeon

Kai Davis is a performer, teaching artist, and Black Queer writer. Kai Davis received her BA from Temple University in both English and Africana studies with a major in Creative Writing. Kai’s work explores womanhood, Queerness, Blackness, and how these identities converge. Her work also explores how power works internally, interpersonally, nationally, and globally. Kai speaks on Black love, Queer love, intersectionality, mental health, ancestral trauma, Black womanhood, misogyny, structural racism, and more. Kai Davis has performed for NPR, PBS, BET, CNN, and TEDx Philly among others. Ms. Davis has also given speeches and readings in several key venues, including The Nuyorican Poets Cafe, The Kimmel Center, Gramercy Theater, and the San Francisco Opera House. She has delivered keynote speeches and facilitated workshops at many conferences such as the Black Students Alliance Conference at Smith College, IvyQ, and The Diversity Inclusion and Fairness Conference at Georgia Southern University. Kai Davis has won the International Grand Slam Championship twice. In 2011, she won the Brave New Voice, and in 2016, The College Union Poetry Slam Invitational. Due to Kai’s contribution to social change through art, Kai was awarded the Leeway Transformation Award in 2017.

Jasmine Combs is a spoken word performer, writer, and educator. Jasmine’s work has been published in literary journals such as Painted Bride Quarterly, Apiary Magazine, and Vagabond City Lit. Ms. Combs has participated in poetry slams both on the local and national stage. In 2015, Ms. Combs made it to the semi-finals of the National Poetry Slam. In the same year, she won the prestigious Philly Grand Slam Championship, and in 2016, the College Union Poetry Slam Invitational. Jasmine was drawn to literature from a young age which inspired her to pursue creative writing at the Philadelphia High School for Creative and Performing Arts.

Ms. Combs graduated from Temple University with a BA in English. During Ms. Comb’s college years, she served as Babel Poetry Collective’s event coordinator and Undergraduate Literary Magazines creative editor. Her work explores the personal as the universal, and the intersecting relationships between home, love, mental illness, girlhood, womanhood, and Blackness. As an author, Jasmine Combs has written two books, This Drowning Was A Baptism and Universal Themes. In addition to writing, Ms. Combs is also passionate about resource infrastructure for artists and community building in Philadelphia. Ms. Combs presently works as a teaching artist and freelance editor, performing her original work, and facilitating performance and writing workshops. Jasmine Combs is also a manuscript editor at Good Ground Publishing and a slammaster at The Philly Pigeon Poetry Slam.

Poets who participate in The Philly Pigeon poetry slam event are hilarious, passionate, and vulnerable. Experiencing live poetry is a unique art form since it gives you a special opportunity to be immersed in another person’s universe. The Philly Pigeon poetry slam event has a strong community feeling, and it is not uncommon to see members of the audience laughing, cheering, and crying during the event. Members of the audience are encouraged to respond when they are moved by a poet’s work by clapping, snapping, etcetera. The Philly Pigeon poetry slam event attracts a variety of poetry lovers, as well as those looking for an exciting Friday night adventure. On a typical slam night, you will find date-night couples, tourists, elders, college students, artists, and local poets.

An Introduction to The Philly Pigeon

An Introduction to The Philly Pigeon

Some people might see poetry as a dying art form, but the Philly Pigeon poetry slam has proven that poetry is thriving and very much alive in Philadelphia. It is one of the most popular poetry events in the region. A poetry slam is basically a contest where poets perform their original work and are judged by members of the audience.

The Philly Pigeon Poetry Slam Event is organized by Jasmine Combs, Jacob Winterstein, and Kai Davis. The Philly Pigeon is a poetry slam event that is held monthly where poets compete among each other by performing their original work to an audience who also act as the judges of the competition. The Philly Pigeon poetry slam event is very different from your usual poetry event characterized by brooding poets inside a coffee shop. Philly Pigeon feels more like a party, featuring an animated audience, live Dj, and a disco ball.

Poets who wish to participate in the Philly Pigeon poetry slam event are required to arrive before 8:40 pm and put their names in a hat. Participants of the event are also required to pay a small fee of $5 for the event. The names are picked from the hat at 9:00 pm. If the people who put their names inside the hat are more than thirteen, a Haiku slam is held at 8:45 to decide who will slam. Some participants are pre-selected. The show kicks off at exactly 9 pm and you are required to claim your seat by 8:55 if you had reserved one. In the event that you have not claimed your seat by 8:55, it will be open to other people who have attended the event. Philly Pigeon welcomes attendees of all ages. However, the poetry slam event may contain adult content.

The Philly Pigeon collective comprises Jacob Winterstein, Kai Davis, and Jasmine Combs. All are cultural organizers, creative collaborators, and Philly Natives. Their mission is to popularize and elevate the performance poetry art form while being of service to the people. The trio strives to promote a sense of community across class, gender, sexuality, religion, and color. They believe in empowering both the audience and the poets to participate in developing the art form.

Jacob Winterstein is an educator, artist, and event producer from Philadelphia. Through poetry, events, and performance art, the work of Jacob Winterstein explores the separation from our environment and with each other, and ways to establish joyful selections. As a co-founder of the Philly Pigeon Collective, Jacob helps organize multi-media productions, poetry slams, artists retreats, and workshops.