The 9th Annual
Classic Slam

Thousands of poems.
Hundreds of poets.
One community

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The Classic Slam is ON! Our annual, flagship event will be LIVE on 4/23, 4/24 and 5/8 (Finals) via ZOOM. 

Log on to quarterfinals Thursday (4/23) and Friday (4/25) from (9:45am-12:30pm PST) to cheer on your favorite team. Stay for the semi finals (1:15pm-4:00pm PST ) to see which top four teams will compete on “final stage” at Classic Slam Finals Friday, 5/8 (7pm-10pm PST). 

For this year’s Classic Slam each team will be assigned a virtual Zoom “theater” where they will compete. Every theater will have a host, judges, competing poets, and an unlimited virtual audience. The Classic Slam will be streaming across Youtube Live, FaceBook Live and right here, on classicslam.org! This means people across the world will log in to watch their favorite team compete for the championship title. Go in, poets! 

And for the first time ever, YOU can be the  “judge.” We are inviting audience members across the globe to score each poem alongside our panel of celebrity judges using our Get Lit Score Metrics technology. At Classic Slam Finals, the poem with the best collective scores will be named the “People’s Choice Award Winner” and take home a prize of $500 cash. Get Lit will award over $10,000 in prizes to both poets and audience members. Click here to see what you could win!

Get Lit has partnered with LAUSD to create a common-core aligned week-long mini unit and one-day lesson plan available to schools across the globe. We hope to bring the power of poetry right to your virtual classrooms to ignite a dialogue of literacy, passion, and empowerment. 

Our voices, community and connection are more important now than ever before! Join us to celebrate these amazing poets as they set our heart (and screens) on fire!

April 23-24, 2020 | Classic Slam Quarter and Semifinals

May 8, 2020 | Grand Slam Finals

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Judges include:

  • Toaster

    Toaster (HOST!)

    Toaster is the co-creator of Big Kid Slam. He has performed at every level of poetry slam, becoming the Grand Slam Champion of Berkeley (2012) and Mental Graffiti (2016), a finalist in the Individual World Poetry Slam (2016) and the National Underground Poetry Individual Competition (2014). He’s facilitated rap, graffiti and poetry workshops across the US for over a decade and recently accepted a Teaching Artist Fellowship with Young Chicago Authors. Toaster has been featured on many media outlets including Button Poetry, All Def Digital, Sofar Sounds, National Public Radio, and SF Weekly. If you’d like to learn more about Toaster, ask his mom- she put a scrapbook together.
  • The Classic Slam

    Paul Tran

    Paul Tran is the recipient of a Ruth Lilly & Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Fellowship from Poetry Magazine and the Discovery/Boston Review Poetry Prize. Their work appears in The New Yorker, Poetry, and elsewhere, including the Netflix movie Love Beats Rhymes with Azealia Banks, Common, and Jill Scott. Paul is the first Asian American since 1993 to win the Nuyorican Poets Cafe Grand Slam, placing top 10 at the Individual World Poetry Slam and top 2 at the National Poetry Slam. They are the Senior Poetry Fellow at Washington University in St. Louis and Poetry Editor at The Offing Magazine.  
  • The Classic Slam

    Brendan Constantine

    Brendan Constantine is a nationally recognized poet based in Los Angeles. His work has appeared in many of the nation’s poetry standards, including Best American Poetry, Prairie Schooner, Tin House, Ploughshares, Virginia Quarterly, and Poem-a-Day. His first book, ‘Letters to Guns’ (2009 Red Hen Press) received wide acclaim and is now taught in schools across the country. His most recent collections are ‘Dementia, My Darling’ (2016) from Red Hen Press, and a chapbook ‘Bouncy Bounce’ (2018) from Blue Horse Press. Mr. Constantine has received support and commissions from the Getty Museum, James Irvine Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts. A popular performer, Brendan has presented his work to audiences throughout the U.S. and Europe, also appearing on TED ED, NPR's All Things Considered, KPFK's Poet’s Café, numerous podcasts, and YouTube. He holds an MFA in poetry from Vermont College of Fine Arts and currently teaches at the Windward School. Since 2017 he has been working with speech pathologist Michael Biel to develop poetry workshops for people with Aphasia.
  • The Classic Slam

    Alyesha Wise

    The author of Carnival (NOT A CULT media), Alyesha Wise is a poet, teaching artist & TEDx speaker from Camden, N.J. Alyesha currently resides in Los Angeles where she is the co-founder of Spoken Literature Art Movement - an organization providing poetry education and extensive programming for poets, and a teaching artist for Street Poets - a non-profit mostly serving juvenile injustice-involved youth. Alyesha served as the Da Poetry Lounge slam team head coach from 2017-18, co-coaching both teams to the final stage at The National Poetry Slam. She also served as the Get Lit-Words Ignite youth slam team co-coach from 2014-2017. Wise is a 2-time Women of the World Poetry Slam finalist and has been featured on different platforms and publications such as Huffington Post, Bustle, Afropunk, PBS, POPSUGAR, Buzzfeed, Free Speech TV and more. She has collaborated with The Nantucket Project, the ACLU of Southern California, Brave New Films and additional major platforms, having featured in the Google Interstellar Project, in conjunction with the hit film Interstellar. Ron Howard once wrote about Alyesha's work, "Very Powerful."  
  • The Classic Slam

    Melissa Lozada-Oliva

    Melissa Lozada-Oliva is the author of peluda (Button Poetry 2017) and the forthcoming novel-in-verse Dreaming of You (MCD x FSG 2021). You can find her work in the Adroit Journal, Muzzle Magazine, and Redivider. She is a co-host of the podcast Say More with Olivia Gatwood. She lives in Brooklyn. You can follow her everywhere except in real life at @ellomelissa.
  • Camonghne Felix

    Camonghne Felix

    Camonghne Felix, M.A. is a poet, a writer, speaker, & political strategist. She received an M.A. in Arts Politics from NYU, an MFA from Bard College, & has received Fellowships from Cave Canem, Callaloo & Poets House. Her first full-length collection of poems, Build Yourself a Boat (Haymarket Books), was long-listed for the 2019 National Book Award in Poetry. She is a Brittingham & Pollak Prize finalist & a 2017 Fordham University Poets Out Loud semi-finalist. Felix's work has been published in BuzzFeed, Poetry Magazine, Apogee, The Offing, the Academy of American Poets website, & more. She's also been featured in New York Women's Foundation Magazine, Brooklyn Poets, Politico, Teen Vogue digital, Huffington Post & more. Camonghne was the Director of Surrogates & Strategic Communications at Elizabeth Warren for President. Formerly she was a Sr. Manager of Strategic Communications at Ms. Foundation For Women, the oldest feminist organization in the country. In 2015, Camonghne was appointed as a Speechwriter to Governor Andrew Cuomo, making her the first African-American female speechwriter, and the youngest speechwriter to serve a New York State governor.
  • The Classic Slam

    Gordon Ip

    Gordon Ip is this year's ACCURACY JUDGE, and the Development Coordinator at Get Lit. He identifies as an Asian-American poet, teacher, and artist. Gordon graduated from the University of Nebraska at Omaha with a full scholarship in 2018. In all his work, Gordon uplifts Asian-American voices in an unapologetic, explicit fashion. He also speaks on issues of immigration, undocumented immigrants, and LGBTQ+ issues. Gordon has performed at Tim Robbins’ theater, The Actor’s Gang, UCLA, the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, and has been featured in the Los Angeles Times. Twice.
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