UNL Slam Poetry Team

Bianca Swift performs at nationals. Photo credit to Eric David Herrera, EDH Photography.

Eric David Herrera

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
Celie Knudsen at a 2017 slam showcase
Coach Stacey Waite

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 UNL Slam Poetry team
UNL Slam Poets at CUPSI in 2019 (Left to right: Celie Knudsen, Jack Buchanan, Celine Haynes, Jax Lindstrom, and Bianca Swift)

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

2018 Slam Team

2018 UNL Slam Poets
Left to right: Jax Lindstrom, Celie Knudsen, Bianca Swift, Coach Stacey Waite, Helen Winston, Jewel Rodgers, and Celine Haynes

2017 Slam Team

2017 UNL Slam Poets
Back row, left to right: Assistant Coach Ryler Dustin, Coach Stacey Waite, Sam Nichols, and Celie Knudsen / Front row, left to right: Helen Winston, Celine Haynes, Becca Human, and Tia Rasmussen

2016 Slam Team

2016 UNL Slam Poets
Left to right: Helen Winston, Sam Nichols, Riley Westerholt, Becca Human, and Reagan Myers

2015 Slam Team

2015 UNL Slam Poets
Left to right: Reagan Myers, Gina Keplinger, Coach Stacey Waite, Vic Klafter, and Katharen Hedges
Reagan Myers performing at a community event in Lincoln, Nebraska
Bianca Swift performing - photo by Eric David Herrera, EDH Photography
Katharen Hedges performing