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United Arts Council

High School Spoken Word Contest

Your Poem…Your Words…Your Voice…Bring Your Poem to Life!

This contest is the concept of poet, spoken word artist, and the 2023 Piedmont Laureate Dasan Ahanu.

Watch the video below of Dasan performing at South Garner High School and teaching students about spoken word with examples from other poets. 

Watch the video below of Dasan to learn more about spoken word and the contest.

Tips from Dasan on Spoken Word and the Six P’s of Performance

What is Spoken Word?

Poetry intended for performance combining creative writing with the skill of oration and the subtle nuance of theatre and improvisation.

Who is Eligible to Enter?

Students in grades 9-12 who attend school in Wake, Durham, or Orange County

How Can Students Enter the Contest?

Create a three-minute or less video of an original piece and submit application (button below) by October 27, 2023

HS Spoken Word Contest Application

Are There Prizes?

Cash prizes in the amounts of $500, $300, and $200 will be awarded to the top three student submissions and nine additional students will receive honorable mentions and a $50 Amazon gift card. The winners will be celebrated at a reception at the North Carolina Executive Mansion on December 12, 2023.

DEADLINE: Friday, October 27, 2023 before 11:00 pm

In addition to the Durham Arts Council, Orange County Arts Commission, Raleigh Arts, and the United Arts Council of Raleigh and Wake County who partner to present the Piedmont Laureate annually, the Raleigh Fine Arts Society has also come on board as a partner of this education initiative.





PO Box 26388
Raleigh, NC 27611

Phone: (919) 839-1498
[email protected]