Since the early '90s, poetry has been transformed from the page to the stage in poetry slams across the nation. Removed from their dark, moody corners and put in front of an audience, poets perform their work passionately, creatively and provocatively, often being evaluated by a panel of judges. More than anything, it gives people a healthy way to express themselves, something Kane Smego and Will McInerney take seriously. UNC-Chapel Hill students Smego and McInerney have leadership roles with Sacrificial Poets, North Carolina's premier youth poetry organization. Made up of youths 13–19 in the Triangle area, Sacrificial Poets performs poetry for audiences as well as making changes in the community.
At Thursday's "Out of the Studio" event, Smego and McInerney will read some of their own work and discuss their experiences organizing the group. They'll also talk about their plans to find inspiration in Egypt and Tunisia this summer as they collect oral histories and take photographs of the political transformations in those countries. Admission to the 6 p.m. event is free. Saturday's "Slam Poetry Workshop" will feature the whole gang of Sacrificial Poets as they help attendees bring their work to fruition. The workshop runs 1–4 p.m.; it's free to high school students, $25 for Ackland members, $30 for nonmembers. To register for the workshop, email Allison Portnow at firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit ackland.org. —Lauren Shute