Downtown Chapel Hill

Downtown Blog

And Then There Was One: The Poetry on the Hill Festival

Three rounds of nineteen powerful, emotionally-charged spoken word poems from nine young poets marked the Saturday night March Youth Slam contest; the culmination of the Poetry on the Hill festival. But only one would be named the victor. Congratulations Collette – you overwhelmingly deserved that perfect score of 10 from me!

The Poetry on the Hill festival was the first of its kind this weekend in downtown Chapel Hill – but it definitely won’t be the last! Created by members of the Sacrificial Poets and co-sponsored by the Chapel Hill Downtown Partnership, the all-day festival offered poetry and spoken word workshops and performances in Franklin Street businesses and organizations. The festival finished with an open mic – for participants to perform what they had created in the workshops – and the March Youth Slam event.  

Not even the pounding day-long rain or hail could stop the poets, and audience from turning out – we moved it all inside to the Street Scene Teen Center, a seemingly more fitting venue for the young poets.

I was hesitant to judge the competition but knowing nothing about slam poetry or the contestants turned out to be useful. I had no preconceived notions as to what to expect and I am still tingling with what I experienced.

I was blow away by the young performers, particularly the girls. At an age when standing in front of anyone to discuss intense, raw thoughts is not easily done – these young ladies stole the show. 

Ironically, words here will never do justice to what embodies a slam poetry event. Seeing is believing …and feeling. Mark your calendars now – the next open mic night is on April 4 at 6:30PM at Flyleaf Books…..AND GO! For more Sacrificial Poets events – click here. 

A HUGE thank you to Alyssa DeCaulp – the Sacrificial Poets Administrative Director, for her hard work and vision in creating, organizing, and putting-on this festival! 

And thank you to all the businesses downtown that hosted workshops – Ackland Art Museum, FRANK Gallery, Caribou Coffee, R&R Grill, and Street Scene Teen Center.

Before the night was over we had already begun to discuss holding another Poetry on the Hill festival in the fall. We don’t want to wait to build on something this powerful and successful!   A complete set of photos from the event can be viewed on our Facebook page.