Revisiting the Founding Era

Poetry Slam Contest

Look at Where We Are. Look at Where We Started.

Students in grades 6 - 12 are invited to create a piece of Slam Poetry related to the Founding Era.

Contest Rubric

How to Enter

  • November 23 - December 31

    Browse our resource guides to find your topic!
  • December 1 - January 21

    Submit your entry using our online form.
  • January 22

    Top 10 finalists announced.
  • February 19

    Celebrate the finalists! Listen to the top 10 plus some very special guests.



Awarded for grades 6-8 and 9-12

  • 1st Place - $100
  • 2nd Place - $50
  • All finalists will receive a certificate of participation and a unique swag bag.

Poetry Slam Finale

When & Where

February 19

6:00 p.m.

Robert W. Saunders, Sr. Public Library

Yo, yo, yo, yo, yo what time is it?? Showtime!!
Saunders Library is the place to be
We're going to listen to some revolutionary Slam Poetry!
10 teens 'splaining Founding Era history
Better listen up, it's gonna go swiftly!

Poetry Slam Emcee - Wally B.

Walter “Wally B” Jennings is a published spoken word artist, community activist and instructor. A native to the Tampa Bay area, Wally B uses poetry as a medium to share and discuss common everyday life experiences. He is the founder of the Heard ‘Em Say Youth Arts Collective and has conducted over 1000 performances. As the Poet Artist in Residence for Hillsborough County Schools and the Arts Council of Hillsborough County, Wally B inspires and empowers hundreds of our community’s youth each year.

Listen Up!


  • Jarrell Pulliam
    portrait of Jarrell Pulliam
    Jarrell Pulliam is a Library Service and Technology Guide 2 with HCPLC. Having a passion for both technology and youth, Jarrell specializes in technology-based courses and working with pre-teens and teenagers. A love of music and hip hop inspired Jarrell to write and record the "HCPLC" original rap song.
  • Kara Sofilka
    portrait of Kara Sofilka
    Kara Sofilka is an 8th grade Language Arts teacher at Learning Gate Community School. She is an artist, book lover, and poetry fiend. She can be found in her free time reading while walking, knitting, and painting a beautiful world around.
  • Dr. Deborah Bowen
    portrait of Dr. Deborah Bowen
    Dr. Deborah Bowen is a writer and has put words in the mouths of some of the most beloved properties in the toy world. After working as a video game producer and scriptwriter, she headed over to USF where she is currently on faculty in the Zimmerman School of Advertising and Mass Communications.

Get Inspired!

Choose a topic from Revisiting the Founding Era.

Get a library card or use your student ID to access resources below.

Aaron Burr U.S. Vice President
Alexander Hamilton Statesman & Political Leader
Articles of the Confederation Historic Document
The Constitution Historic Document
The Declaration of Independence Historic Document
The Federalist Papers Political Essays
George Washington U.S. President
Henry Knox Revolutionary War General
Iroquois Native American Group
John Adams U.S. President
Lucy Flucker Knox Revolutionary
Marquis de Lafayette French Soldier & Statesmen
Mercy Otis Warren Political Writer
Paul Revere Revolutionary War Patriot
Peter Kiteredge Revolutionary War Soldier
Phillis Wheatley Poet
Alien and Sedition Acts Historic Document
Thomas Jefferson U.S. President
Thomas Paine Political Writer
Timothy Pickering Statesman

Funded by the Friends of the Library of Tampa-Hillsborough County, Inc. This program is part of Revisiting the Founding Era, a three-year national initiative of the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History presented in partnership with the American Library Association and the National Constitution Center, with generous support from the National Endowment for the Humanities.