State of the Word


On Saturday, December 6th at 7:00pm, the Blair School of Music and the Nashville Public Library will welcome the 7th Annual State of the Word to Ingram Hall featuring the region’s top college and high school writers, poets, emcees and spoken word artists. On this evening, the Office of Mayor Karl Dean, Metro Nashville Arts Commission, Southern Word, and the Nashville Public Library will select Nashville’s first Youth Poet Laureate. The event will also feature the winner of the first STEM Poetry Slam in collaboration with the Middle Tennessee STEM Innovation Hub. Tickets will be available at

Vandy Spoken Word and Southern Word partner to produce the event. Vandy Spoken Word is Vanderbilt’’s spoken word group which promotes self-expression, challenges prejudices, and gives voice to diverse perspectives. Southern Word is a non-profit youth development organization building a culture of literacy through spoken word residencies, workshops, and shows. High school and college youth spend the day in writing and community building workshops through the support of the Martha Rivers Ingram Commons at Vanderbilt.

Performers emerge from Southern Word’s programs sponsored by the Nashville Public Library, Nashville Public Library Foundation, Metro Nashville Public Schools, Metro Nashville Arts Commission, Tennessee Board of Regents, Memorial Foundation, Humanities Tennessee, Dan and Margaret Maddox Charitable Foundation, Tennessee Arts Commission, Middle Tennessee STEM Innovation Hub, and the Office of Mayor Karl Dean.

The event is made possible through the generous support of the Blair School of Music, Commons at Vanderbilt, and the Vanderbilt Writing Studio. Proceeds go to benefit Southern Word and the placement of poet mentors in Middle Tennessee’s public schools.

For more information, go to

Read about Southern Word’s work in schools on the Tennessean Here


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