It’s obvious from the group’s Facebook page that those involved with Young Steel are just a little excited about Saturday’s event.
As they should be—the first Young Steel slam poetry event will be held Saturday at Cannon Coffee.
“I am pretty excited for this, the first ever,” said Tera McIntosh of Brookline, who helped coordinate the event. “Crazy that it just has not happened before this.”
McIntosh is part of Steel City Slam, a Pittsburgh-area adult poetry league. She and other Steel City Slam members wanted to start a youth slam poetry group for area teens.
Although there is a writer’s institute that helps young people with writing fiction and poetry, there isn’t a poetry league or poetry competition for youth.
Prior to a Steel City Slam performance in December to raise funds for Young Steel, McIntosh said the Steel City members planned to guide the youth group, offering encouragement and teaching young people how to recite poetry publically.
“A lot of it is about engagement and getting them to step outside of the norms of what they’re used to,” she said in December. “We want (the youth) to engage in positive activities that have intention.”
There’s no pre-sign up sheet, so youth who want read can join in on Saturday night and sign up at the door. Each reader should come prepared with three poems, one for each of three rounds in which the top poets advance.
An afterschool program by Americorps that teaches slam poetry is bringing about 15 students to the event, McIntosh said.
McIntosh said she’s obviously hoping for a good turnout at Saturday’s event, but that just getting the group started is a step in the right direction for young poets.
“It’s going to take some time to build up, but it’s a start,” she said.
If you’re going:
- What: YOUNG STEEL! Youth Slam
- Where: Cannon Coffee
- When: Saturday, Jan. 28. Doors open at 7 p.m., poetry starts at 7:30 p.m.
- Cost: Free, but donations are encouraged to help run the youth slam group.
For more information, see the Young Steel Facebook page.