Seattle Poetry Slam’s representative Ebo Barton took 5th place at the Individual World Poetry Slam (IWPS) in Flagstaff, Arizona. IWPS competitors represented 96 cities from the U.S., Canada, France, Germany, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa. Ebo last competed at IWPS in 2013, placing 16th overall.
“I was honored to represent Seattle Poetry Slam at Individual World Poetry Slam this year,” said Ebo. “I was a rare Queer and Trans Person of Color on those stages. Representation is so important and I hope I represented well. The experience of taking in so many different stories from so many different lenses, intersections, and places was overwhelming in the best way. I think the other experience of seeing friends and family back home and beyond root for me on social media brought me so much joy.”
Ebo Barton is a Black and Filipino queer poet and artist whose work addresses the daily politics of living as a genderqueer person of color. Barton is the Youth Arts Coordinator at Gay City. They teach creative writing and performance poetry, and their work has been featured on National Public Radio, SeattleGayScene.com, Button Poetry, EverydayFeminism.com, Crosscut, King 5 News, and in the premier issue of Adrienne: A Poetry Journal of Queer Women (Sibling Rivalry Press). They have numerous regional slam championships to their credit, and previously represented Seattle at the National Poetry Slam and Women of the Word Poetry Slam.
“Ebo’s work is incredibly important to have had on finals stage, said New Orleans poet Mwende “FreeQuency” Katwiwa. “The topics they chose to honor are ones that need community voices raised in order to start doing the real work, so it was great to hear them not just writing pretty poetry, but poetry with a point and purpose and then making an intentional decision to share it.”
“I was lucky enough not only to share finals stage with Ebo at IWPS,” said Patrick Roche of New Jersey, “but to perform alongside them in a preliminary bout as well. Their work stood out so incredibly with their strong yet reserved performances, allowing their words to fill the room while supported by a vulnerable sense of emotion and authenticity. I had appreciated Ebo’s work from afar, but experiencing their work in person inspired me, educated me, and energized me so much more than I could have imagined. Off stage, Ebo was easily one of the kindest, most genuine people I got to speak to in Flagstaff. I hope I have the honor of sharing stages with them in the future, and I hope their work continues to reach a larger and larger audience. They most certainly deserve that.”
Learn more about Ebo Barton online at https://ebobarton.wordpress.com/ or https://www.facebook.com/ebobartonpoetry/. Interview or booking requests may be made with Ebo directly via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ebo Barton has been interviewed for The Seattle Review of Books.
The Seattle Poetry Slam started in 1992 and takes place 7 pm every Tuesday at Re-bar. The Seattle Poetry Slam is an official PSI venue and is fiscally sponsored by Shunpike, a non-profit organization.
IWPS is production of Poetry Slam, Inc. (PSI), a non-profit promoting the creation and performance of poetry that engages communities and provides a platform for voices to be heard beyond social, cultural, political, and economic barriers.