Iconoclast Artist Xach Blunt and Teammates Rank 5th in the Nation

Write About Now slam poetry team (L to R): Omer Ahmed, Christopher Diaz, Ebony Stewart, Xach Blunt, Rj Wright

Write About Now slam poetry team (L to R): Omer Ahmed, Christopher Diaz, Ebony Stewart, Xach Blunt, Rj Wright

Iconoclast Artists teaching fellow Xach Blunt and his team, Write About Now, earned high honors at the 2018 National Poetry Slam in Chicago, over the course of the one-week competition in August. This Poetry Slam Inc (PSi) event took place within 20 performance venues in Chicago and featured some of the best slam poets in the United States. 

Xach’s team (@wanpoetry) performed 12 poems as they competed against 73 teams, working their way from the preliminary rounds up to the finals, finishing 5th place overall in the U.S.

After the competition, Xach answered a few questions about the impact of poetry in his life and this competition:

Q: What role does poetry play in how you navigate the world?

Xach: Poetry informs how I see the world. No matter if I zoom out and watch how we function as a society or zoom in and interrogate my own personal relationships, poetry forces me to observe the details of how these things make me feel and to sit with these feelings until I am able to articulate them through creative expression.

Q: According to Poetry Slam, Inc, part of its mission is to “challenge our members to use their art to inspire courage, hope, creativity and self-empowerment within their communities.”  Did participation in this competition inspire you in a similar way? 

Xach: Yes, it is always fascinating to go to a larger display of poetry like a National Poetry Slam and see a community of people from across the country who come together to tell and listen to each other’s stories and experiences. It reminds me of the importance of creating a microcosm of this type of community and support in my classrooms, where my students feel safe and free to express themselves creatively.

Q: What advice do you give to young poets?

Xach:  To the upcoming creative, I say-- whatever idea you have about what poetry is, do away with it. If we must create, let's create from scratch. Homemade meals always turn out better than prepackaged ones. Let’s create a homemade poem. Let’s create a poem from the heart. Someone once said "Your heart cannot be boxed in. It expands the more you love." So love the poems you create and create the poems you love.

Congratulations to Xach and Write About Now!