Listen Here! On May 14, KCRW’s Danielle Chiriguayo interviewed Poet Virginia Villata, Venice High Teacher Hazel Witham, and Get Lit’s Executive Director Diane Luby Lane about The Classic Slam!

Virginia discusses her journey from struggling middle-school student to empowered poet, and how The Classic Slam guided her along that path — even via Zoom.

“In some ways, she says her poem at the Get Lit Classic Finale was a way to make peace with her past.

“The only way I could put that into words was through poetry. And the only way I could also move forward was through poetry and [writing] about it and forgive my family and forgive like myself for all the bad things that happened,” she says.

Her poem, titled “Ode to the Frozen Burger Sold at the Dollar Tree,” would help win her the Classic Slam finals. With a score of 30.8, Villata was the highest-scoring poet of the night. She also received the People’s Choice award. Those awards earned her more than $1500 in prize money.

With that money, she’ll be saving up for her next journey to UC Irvine, where she’ll be majoring in public health science. She’ll be the first person in her family to go to a four-year college.”

For the full story, go to KCRW.