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Black Arts Matter Festival Artists

Black Arts Matter Festival brings together musicians, poets, dancers, and other artists in an interdisciplinary celebration of black artistry. Find out which poets are coming to the 2022 Black Arts Matter Festival and when you can see them perform. This page will be updated with the names of poets who advance to semi-finals and finals.

New for 2022, purchase a Poetry Slam Pass to see all three days of competition.

Poetry Slam Pass Pricing:

  • General Admission $50
  • Members/Faculty/Staff $47
  • UW-Madison Students/Youth (Under 17): $40

Single tickets to each day of the slam are available for purchase as well, starting at $10.

Purchase single tickets »

Prelims: March 23, 5:30 PM | Play Circle

Prelim competition will include a four-minute and one-minute poem by each artist.

Poets:

  • Wesley Frazier-Keys, Ed Mabrey, Black Chakra, Wayne Henry, Maya Write, Johnny “JJ” Jones/JJLOVES2TEACH, McPherson

Featured Performer:

Prelims: March 23, 5:30 PM | Play Circle

Prelims: March 23, 5:30 PM | Great Hall

Prelim competition will include a four-minute and one-minute poem by each artist.

Poets:

  • Native Child, Don, Toiryan Milligan, Chevon Guthrie, Steven Willis, Jahman Hill, Xach Blunt

Featured Performer:

Prelims: March 23, 5:30 PM | Great Hall

Prelims: March 23, 8:30 PM | Play Circle

Prelim competition will include a four-minute and one-minute poem by each artist.

Poets:

  • Kenneth Something, Kelsey Daniels, Billy Tuggle, Akeem Olaj, K McClendon, Davon Clark, April Rochelle

Featured Performer:

Prelims: March 23, 8:30 PM | Play Circle

Prelims: March 23, 8:30 PM | Great Hall

Prelim competition will include a four-minute and one-minute poem by each artist.

Poets:

  • Ephraim Nehemiah, King Yaw, Alpha, Raja Freeman, Durmerrick Ross, Rudy Francisco

Featured Performer:

Prelims: March 23, 8:30 PM | Great Hall

Semi-Finals: March 24, 7:30 PM | Play Circle

Semi-final competition will include a two-minute and three-minute poem by each artist.

Poets:

  • Bout A: Native Child, Maya Write, Durmerrick Ross, Chevon Guthrie, K McClendon, Billy Tuggle, Ed Mabrey, Black Chakra, Yaw Kyeremateng, April Rochelle
  • Bout B: Don, Rudy Francisco, Kelsey Daniels, Wesley Frazier-Keys, Akeem Olaj, Steven Willis, McPherson, Meish, Ephraim Nehemiah, Xach Blunt

Featured Performer:

Semi-Finals: March 24, 7:30 PM | Play Circle

Finals: March 25, 6:30 PM | Shannon Hall

Finals competition will include a three-minute poem by all finalists. The top seven poets will then present a one-minute poem. The final four poets will finish with a three-minute poem.

Poets:

  • Native Child, Maya Write, Ed Mabrey, Black Chakra, Yaw Kyeremateng, Rudy Francisco, Kelsey Daniels, Wesley Frazier-Keys, Steven Willis, Ephraim Nehemiah

Featured Performer:

Purchase Tickets

Finals: March 25, 6:30 PM | Shannon Hall
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