Detroit Brings Women’s Poetry Back Bigger, Better

Detroit Brings Women’s Poetry Back Bigger, Better

Women poets will make their pilgrimage back to the Motor City for four days of competition March 18-21, 2009 at the second annual Women of the World Poetry Slam (WOWps).

alt textTara Hardy

Various venues in the City’s Theatre District will host acclaimed spoken-word artists from major North American points of origin, including New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Vancouver, Canada and beyond. The numbers are expected to double 2008’s attendance, which reached into the thousands, while news spreads wide of the camaraderie and high octane performances of female spoken word artists creating a need to nurture an annual event. Last year, WOWps was presented with the Spirit of Detroit award by Councilwoman Alberta Tinsley-Talabi, a continued supporter and contributor of the event.

“In many large cities, performance poetry is an integral part of the arts scene,” says La Shaun phoenix Moore, Host-City Chairwoman. “The goal of this event is to expose Detroit and Michigan audiences to the highest caliber of female performance.”

For four days, Detroit will serve as the host of various workshops, open mic readings and multifaceted events in support of the title competition. Wednesday will kick off with the Last Chance Slam and Councilwoman Alberta Tinsley-Talabi will help welcome the ladies during Opening Ceremonies on Thursday afternoon. The preliminary competitions will be held Thursday and Friday evening at the Boll Family YMCA, Cliff Bell’s Jazz Cafe and 1515 Broadway Theatre. Finals will commence at 8 p.m. on Saturday, March 21st at The Fillmore Detroit. Prizes will include cash and trophies as well as the title of Best Female Poet in the World for one year.

Poetry slam competitions were invented in 1984 by writer Marc Smith, a full-time construction worker, who wanted to help breathe life back into a dwindling poets’ scene. In 1997, with Smith as its President, the loose affiliation of poets became Poetry Slam, Incorporated which has grown since its inception. It now boasts thousands of members and promotes four different international events, WOWps being the newest.

GIRLS ALOUD! is the proud anthem for the 2009 Women of the World Poetry Slam (WOWps) and is meant to celebrate powerhouse female performance poets as well as women of all races and backgrounds through the beauty of our collective voices. We are no wilting roses, but the mothers of creation and thus the fuel for creative thought. Women have distinctive perspectives that need to be heard, but all too often they are unable to participate in public art forms and forums due to such barriers as single parenthood, low-income levels and lack of childcare. Our parent company, Poetry Slam, Incorporated (PSi), intends to make WOWps a unique showcase event that supports women by helping to provide childcare, scholarships/subsidies for attendance and creating a supportive atmosphere during the event. GIRLS ALOUD! will be our sacred collective call leading the way. We demand to be heard by a world deafening their ears to our voices. We proudly declare that we will not be restricted from freely expressing ourselves – We will be allowed: GIRLS ALOUD!

Tickets to “Women of the World Poetry Slam” may be purchased through and Poets who wish to participate in the event may sign up on the official website or contact Cassie Poe at 313-680-POET (7638) for additional information.

alt textL-R Airea Dee Matthews, La Shaun phoenix Moore,
Councilwoman Alberta Tinsley-Talabi, Cassie Poe and
Kalimah Johnson

Poetry Slam, Inc. is the non-profit organization responsible overseeing the international coalition of poetry slams. The mission of Poetry Slam Incorporated (PSI) is to promote the performance and creation of poetry while cultivating literary activities and spoken word events in order to build audience participation, stimulate creativity, awaken minds, foster education, inspire mentoring, encourage artistic statement and engage communities worldwide in the revelry of language.