6th annual Poetry Slam at the Lakota Nation Invitational

RAPID CITY, S.D. – One of the biggest cultural events at the Lakota Nation Invitational, the 6th annual Poetry Slam, was held Thursday at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center.

It’s open to high school students, as well as anyone 19 years of age or under. All poems are original works by the poets.

“Storytelling has always been a part of our oral tradition,” said Autumn White Eyes, the co-coordinator of the LNI Poetry Slam. “So bringing that to the young people is really important. Carving out spaces for them to express themselves and share their stories – it’s really a goal of this program.”

For Tyra Akers, this is her second year competing. “Last year I took third place, and this is kind of a big opportunity to share my voice and for others to share their voice.”

Memorization of the poems was not mandatory but highly encouraged. And while the poems are not censored, hate speech is not tolerated.

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