FEMS - Feminine Empowerment Movement Slam

is creating an all-ages/genders poetry slam tournament for feminine people

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FEMS is a community based grassroots initiative.
We aim to be radically accessible. We welcome people of all ages, incomes, races, genders, sexual orientations and abilities. We seek venues that are accessible to those with limited mobility. We aim to provide accommodations for the who are deaf and hard of hearing community. We want to create a supportive space where people feel like they have a voice. We aim to cultivate the the power we access in spaces that hold us at the center.

What do we do?
This work culminates in the first annual 3 day poetry national competition and festival for feminine identified people in Boston, MA. Currently, we are organizing as a community that centers marginalized voices. Our team is facilitating intentional dialogues that aim to acknowledge, unlearn, and purge the toxic power dynamics that make our artistic homes hostile. We are currently hosting events to develop new poets and artists of all ages. These events also serve as a showcase for the work that they are doing in their art and in their communities.

What is slam?
Slam is a game where poets read original work in front of an audience, 5 of whom judge from 0-10 points. For many who compete it is life-giving and fun. This is a team competition which means that four or five poets will sign up to compete together. The slam has four rounds so each team will have four opportunities to send a representative(s) to the stage. FEMS organizers want to share this under-ground game with as many people as possible. We are doing outreach to encourage first-slammers as well as experienced performers. Teams can present individual or group poems. Teams have a guaranteed two preliminary bouts and then a semi-finals and a finals bout.

Who is this for? People who identify as feminine including but not limited to Queer femmes, GNC femmes, two spirit individuals, trans femmes, trans women and cis women who identify as feminine and all the other identities feminine people hold at intersections. We do not prescribe what feminine means or subscribe to the narrow definitions of what a feminine person looks like.

Why we need this: Before FEMS there was no space in the slam scene for femmes and feminine people to showcase our work safely. We believe that feminine people and their art deserve to be honored. With this space there are more feminine people slamming. There are more feminine people getting recognized on the internet. There are more opportunities for us to take leadership in our poetry community.

Accessibility: Most slam venues are 18+, in bars and inaccessible by wheelchair. To make spaces as accessible as possible we will not be in venues that serve alcohol or are physically inaccessible. All venues will be accessible by public transportation and allow us to create gender neutral bathrooms (if they don’t already exist). We will be doing outreach to try to bring in poets of all ages. People who are under 18 will be asked to fill out a permission slip and aentire teams of underaged folks will be asked to bring a “coach” with them. Representatives from our youth committee will be in each bout as a resource for young people. We will also have active listeners in each bout if someone becomes affected or triggered by a poem and would like to talk to someone.

More than just a tournament this is a festival, a movement. Leading up to the tournament we are already creating space for feminine voices by holding slams, writing workshops and socials for people who want to find teammates. During the tournament and festival we will have writing workshops, sifers, themed open mics for queer folks, folks who aren’t feminine all the time among others. We will host activities in Boston like walking the freedom trail. We want to hold events year round
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Receiving $1,000 a month will allow us to have a home space and be able to regularly and securely pay and support feminine artists.
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