Best Poetry Slam

The Root Slam

Excitement was immediate two years ago when renowned poets Gabriel Cortez, Isabella Borgeson, Jade Cho, Janae Johnson, Natasha Huey, and Terisa Siagatonu created the Root Slam, a free bi-monthly poetry slam series with the mission to create “an inclusive and socially just space” where poetry and community can thrive. In their inaugural year of national competition, the Root Slam sent an all-women-of-color team to represent Oakland at the 2017 National Poetry Slam, placing fifth in the nation out of 80 teams. We love their emphasis on new voices from traditionally marginalized communities, their pre-slam open mics, and their additional free writing workshops. With a full bar and solid eats from MLK Cafe and close distance to MacArthur BART, the Root Slam is an Oakland gem of a literary function that we highly recommend.

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