THE 11TH ANNUAL
CLASSIC SLAM

GRAND SLAM FINALS

April 23rd | 5-8pm
Dynasty Typewriter

Media Kit

This year, tickets are extremely limited. To reserve your seat, email andrea@getlit.org.
Please arrive by 4:30pm to ensure your place in the audience.

HOSTED
BY

Ashley August

Ashley August is black, alive and loves a good list! She is an afro-latina actress, author, playwright, activist, teaching artist, touring spoken word artist, previously 3rd ranked woman poet in the world, a cast member of the ABC/Disney Discovers cast (‘21-‘22), hip-hop junkie, ASTEP at Juilliard fellow, former Youth Poet Laureate of New York City and recently, named one of The New York Times 30 Under 30 Most Influential people.

Along with multiple stage and screen appearances, her credits include Sundance, Cannes Film Festival, Netflix, Aljazaera America, The GAP, BET, and HBO. She's also written and performed for Adidas, Refinery 29, Under Armour, Nike, MTV, Comedy Central and more. August is the author of three self-exploratory books, “Love Handles”, “Licorice” and "Say I Won't". She is the former curator and Slam Master of the Legendary Bowery Poetry Club. With Belize and Brooklyn embedded into her (he)art, August is motivated to speak the unsaid truth and push the boundaries of spoken word and performance to realms they've yet to live in.

You can find her latest work in the Breakbeat Poetry Collection "LatiNext" and appearing on upcoming TV programs.

She currently resides in LA and is figuring it all out!

Vanessa Tahay

Vanessa Tahay is a young Mayan poet from Totonicapan, Guatemala. Vanessa graduated from  Cleveland high school, she was named captain of the 2017 classic slam team and took first place for finals. Vanessa has been featured on the front page of The Los Angeles Times, has been part of Vogue Magazine, The Huffington Post, NPR and many more. She has also performed and spoke in over 100 schools nationwide, and had the honor to perform at the 2017 women’s rally. Vanessa has had the privilege to work alongside Mitú, Brown Issues, and Undocumedia to spread awareness for undocumented families, women’s rights, and empowering the youth to find their own voices.

JUDGES

Safia Elhillo

Safia Elhillo is Sudanese by way of Washington, DC. She is the author of The January Children (University of Nebraska Press, 2017), which received the Sillerman First Book Prize for African Poets and an Arab American Book Award, Girls That Never Die (forthcoming from One World/Random House, 2022), and the novel in verse Home Is Not a Country (Make Me a World/Random House, 2021), which was longlisted for the National Book Award and received a Coretta Scott King Book Awards Author Honor. With Fatimah Asghar, she is co-editor of the anthology Halal If You Hear Me (Haymarket Books, 2019). 

 

Her fellowships include a Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Fellowship from the Poetry Foundation, Cave Canem, and a Wallace Stegner Fellowship from Stanford University. She received the 2015 Brunel International African Poetry Prize and was listed in Forbes Africa’s 2018 “30 Under 30.” Her work has been translated into several languages and commissioned by Under Armour and the Bavarian State Ballet.

Brian Sonia-Wallace

Brian Sonia-Wallace is the West Hollywood City Poet Laureate and a national 2021 Laureate Fellow for the Academy of American Poets for LGBTQ+ poetry activism. In 2020, Harper Collins published his book The Poetry of Strangers: What I Learned Traveling America with a Typewriter, which US Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera called, "flaming toward humanity...a text we have been dreaming of.” Brian has been published in Poets.org, 14poems, Rattle, Rolling Stone, LitHub, and The Guardian, and has spent the last decade writing poems for over 10,000 strangers based on their stories in a string of unlikely residencies, ranging from Amtrak to the Mall of America. Brian’s custom poetry business, RENT Poet, was featured on NPR’s How I Built This. Its motto is, “everyone needs a poem.” He teaches with UCLA Extension Writers' Program and Get Lit - Words Ignite. More at briansoniawallace.com and @rentpoet.

Yesika Salgado

Yesika is a Los Angeles based Salvadoran poet who writes about her family, her culture, her city, and her fat brown body. She has shared her work in venues and campuses throughout the country. Salgado is a two time National Poetry Slam finalist and the recipient of the 2020 International Latino Book Award in Poetry. Her work has been featured in the Los Angeles Times, Teen Vogue, Univision, CNN, NPR, TEDx, and many digital platforms. She is an internationally recognized body-positive activist and the writer of the column Suelta for Remezcla. Yesika is the author of the best-sellers Corazón, Tesoro, and Hermosa, published with Not a Cult.

Sam Rush

began writing poems after developing progressive hearing loss and realizing how many words each word could be. They were a finalist at the 2016 National Poetry Slam and have had work featured in The Offing, Muzzle, The Journal, and elsewhere. They are the author of Swallow (Sibling Rivalry Press, 2021).

Edwin Bodney

is a Black, queer, nonbinary writer and educator committed to the most vulnerable parts of loving, grieving, and being. Their work has been featured in media and publications like: Button Poetry, Platypus Press, The Advocate, and Exposition Review. Their full-length book of poetry, A Study of Hands (2017) is available through Not A Cult Media.

Safia Elhillo

Brian Sonia- Wallace

Yesika Salgado

Sam Rush

Edwin Bodney

QUARTER & SEMI-FINALS

April 21st & 22nd
10am & 2pm
Dynasty Typewriter & Get Lit Office

MIDDLE SCHOOL SLAM

April 21st
2pm
Get Lit Office

FEATURED ARTISTS

DJ FRANKY

DJ ZURI

BLOW

WATCH, SCORE, REPEAT

We’ve added a 6th judge to our panel of judges– and that judge is YOU! Watch the live stream performances below, enter your scores in the “Scoremetrics,” and help us determine the winner of the People’s Choice Award!

CLASSIC SLAM 2021 FINALS (7:00 pm – 10:00 pm PT):

Harvard Westlake | iLead SCVi | Larchmont | Venice