Thank you for donating to the English Undergraduate Organization to help send the UO Poetry Slam Team to the 2015 College Unions Poetry Slam Invitational. Over the course of the competition, you will receive a link to a student’s blog post about the competition so you will be able to see the impact of your donation. This is a unique opportunity for our students to engage with a lively academic and artistic community and to share their own poetry and experiences, and we look forward to sharing it all with you.
This year’s CUPSI is the largest in the event’s 14-year history! 68 teams will compete for a chance at the national title at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, VA. The UO Poetry Slam has sent four competing poets to the event: Dante Douglas, Hannah Golden, Sarah Hovet, and Sarah Menard.
The UO Poetry Slam Team will begin the competition with two rounds of preliminary bouts. We are competing against the best of the best in both rounds! In Bout 1, Oregon will face Lewis & Clark and Washington University (both teams that placed first in each of their preliminary bouts last year), and UC Davis. In Bout 2, Oregon faces Princeton and the host school, Virginia Commonwealth University (the second and third place winners of last year’s tournament), and American University. We are excited to participate in this event for the first time in Oregon’s history and to meet so many other exciting poets from across the nation and Canada.
In addition to the competition, we’re looking forward to exploring Richmond. In fact, our hotel is built on Edgar Allan Poe’s childhood home and is rumored to be haunted!
In preparation for this event, the UO Poetry Slam Team put in countless hours over the Winter term workshopping, rehearsing, and performing. On its way to building a community and team with the goal of competing at CUPSI, the UO Poetry Slam has been featured in The Daily Emerald and members have performed at the end-of-year English Department meeting, the Eugene Poetry Slam, the National Poetry Slam, TEDx, and many campus events, and even in some of your classrooms. Already, two different poets have placed first in the Eugene Poetry Slam and the Portland Poetry Slam this term on the way to CUPSI.
But, the Team prioritizes community building and poetry even above competition. As team captain Hannah Golden said in a recent interview for The Daily Emerald, “We’re not just a team; we’re also a community and a club. We really want to invite other people to come and participate. If you’ve never written a word of poetry in your life, you’re an ideal candidate. If you’ve written poetry for five years, you’re also an ideal candidate.”
Thank you, again, for donating to the UO Poetry Slam to make this trip more affordable for these students. Personally, I am so proud of all that these student-poets have accomplished and sacrificed to attend this national competition. I look forward to all that CUPSI has in store for the Team and to the inspiration and energy they will bring back to Oregon!