Ignited by English major Reagan Myers and Gina Keplinger in 2015, UNL's Slam Poetry team is a proud part of our English Department and competes each year at the College Unions Poetry Slam Invitational (CUPSI). The team holds monthly poetry slams on campus and considers themselves an artistic force for social justice at UNL. (Photo credit: Eric David Herrera)
“A community of humans who consider the world around them intently, who are fearless, who are awake? That felt like a gift. I'm thrilled I got to share a part of myself with that community, and that I got to witness so many others share something honest too.”Celie Knudsen
Coached by UNL Associate Professor Stacey Waite, the success of our poetry team owes a great debt to Nebraska Writers Collective's Louder than a Bomb-Great Plains high school poetry program, from which many of our poets learn to write and perform at very high levels.
The team hosts several slams on campus each year and often features notable poets and slam teams from around the country. In recent years, our poets have performed alongside Elizabeth Acevedo, Hanif Willis-Abdurraqib, and Anis Mojgani.
2019 Slam Poetry team
At CUPSI 2019, our team placed in the top twenty teams in the nation. English majors Bianca Swift and Celie Knudsen were key poets on the team, along with Celine Haynes, Jack Buchanan, and Jax Lindstrom.
“It’s getting up there and just talking about feelings you’re supposed to hold back in normal conversation.”Jax Lindstrom