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    HomeCultureWest Hollywood Poetry Team Brings Home Poetry Slam Trophy

    West Hollywood Poetry Team Brings Home Poetry Slam Trophy

    The West Hollywood Poetry Team brought home the winning trophy after competing at the Chill List Poetry Slam Invitational in Modesto, CA on Saturday, April 20. Amongst a competitive field, the West Hollywood poets emerged triumphant, claiming the top prize in a dynamic display of original verse.

    The event, renowned for spotlighting the nation’s premier slam poetry collectives, saw teams vying for a $2000 award through a series of group and solo performances. Five judges from the audience awarded points to teams based on the strength of their poems and the quality of their performance. West Hollywood won with a cumulative score of 113.4, beating our competing teams from Oakland (111.4), Salt Lake City (110.1), and Visalia (108.7).

    “The West Hollywood team brought brilliance to the Chill List stage,” said Chill List founder and host Sam Pierstorff. “Our Modesto audience loved their range from the humorous to the deeply emotional, intellectual, and inspirational.”

    The genesis of the West Hollywood Slam Team dates back to July 2023, initiated by former West Hollywood Poet Laureate Brian Sonia-Wallace and poet/coach Nate Lovell, the architects behind The Mic @ Micky’s WeHo. Comprising both founders and five standout poets from Micky’s, including Meliza “Missy Fuego” Bañales, Dan “Pastiche Queen” Lovato, Tee Gardiner, and Raul Herrera, the team embodies the vibrant spirit of its locale.

    According to Pastiche Queen, a team member, the collective mirrors the essence of West Hollywood itself, fostering a sense of community and mutual support. “The team operates as a microcosm of West Hollywood itself; nobody is gonna take care of us like we take care of us.”

    Missy Fuego, a seasoned slam veteran and team member, underscored the historic significance of their ensemble. “The West Hollywood team is not only the first slam team in WeHo, it’s the first all Queer/Non-Binary/Non-Labeled Slam Team in North America,” they said. “For years, slam has typically been dominated by heterosexual and cis narratives, with one or two members representing the LGBTQ community. The West Hollywood Slam Team steps forth, proudly, as the first all-inclusive team to prioritize LGBTQ issues and culture as well as regularly center sexual orientation and gender.”

    The West Hollywood Slam Team is currently creating a showcase performance with  revolving guest poets, and is available for Pride performance bookings through rentpoet.com.

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