On January 20, 2020 the Urban Artist Alliance (UrbArts) hosted their 2020 MLK Day Celebration including the Verbquake Youth Poetry Slam. The event was hosted by M.K. Stallings, with DJ Black Spade (all the way from New York) on the turntables, and V. Lang capturing photos. Three youth teams participated in the competition; Beauty N the Beats, Central Flow, and Savage Stanzas. The event consisted of the Youth Poet Laureate Ceremony, 4 Verbquake Slam rounds, twelve poetic performances, and a poetry cypher.
Each year UrbArts holds a Youth ceremony in celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day. The celebration was broken up into three sections; the Youth Poet Laureate Awards Ceremony for, the 2020 Verbquake Youth Slam, and a poetry cypher at the end. The Youth Poet Laureate Awards Ceremony began at 1 PM; honoring outstanding youth poets from the St. Louis area. Each of the four finalist for St. Louis Youth Poet Laureate presented two pieces before the winner was announced; Darius Jackson, Laura Wolf, Sarah, and Tiggy.
2020 Youth Poet Laureate finalists
- Sarah, Marquette HS
- “In Kindergarten I danced with the freckles of your trauma…”
- “My grandmother taught me to fear the ocean…”
- “Men think my hair love enough to scale…”
- “New Orleans”
- Darius Jackson, Central Visual and Performing Arts HS
- “Almost blue, your fiery red was burning out to the coldest hue…”
- “The Angels are crying…”
- Laura Wolf, Central Visual and Performing Arts HS
- “When a rabbit squirrel claws it’s way into your first apartment…”
- “It’s time we finally accept that everything changed, but nothing changed…”
Congratulations to Sarah, named the 2020 Youth Poet Laureate, and to Darius Jackson, Laura Wolf, and Tiggy who were named the 2020 Youth Ambassadors.
See Page 2 for more on The 2020 Verbquake Youth Slam