« Here I am: the ransacked house, kissing the knuckle that committed the robbery. »
Kait Rokowski, “Swelter”
Hometown: Gray, Maine.
Years slamming: 4.
Credentials: Placed third at WOWps 2012, third at Individual World Poetry Slam in 2011, fourth at College Unions Poetry Slam Invitational in 2011.
Published work: One chapbook.
Education: University of Minnesota, currently taking time off school.
Aspirations: “I want to write TV shows or poetry, anything with writing.”
Strengths: “Being strong on stage.”
Weakness: “Being sensitive on stage.”
For her WOW appearance: “Feminism and humor.”
Odds of winning WOW: 5-1. She has the experience but has yet to nail down a decisive win; a relatively safe bet.
« I wake up writing the prayers my dreams abandoned. »
Anna Binkovitz, “A survivor’s guide to saying yes.”
Hometown: Born in Rochester, Minn.; grew up in Ohio.
Years slamming: 1.
Credentials: Has been to college nationals and regional slams. Was a member of the Macalester College CUPSI team and St. Paul’s Rustbelt Regional Poetry Slam team.
Published work: One chapbook, “The Love Hypothetic” (2013).
Education: Junior at Macalester working on a B.A. in English.
Aspirations: Would be interested in being a poet for a career, and is dipping her toe into planning shows.
Strengths: “Writing in a vulnerable way.”
Weakness: “Writing with an authoritative voice.”
For her WOW appearance: A one-minute poem about the Newtown shooting and not letting fear dictate your life, and a two-minute poem about an aunt with cancer.
Odds of winning WOW: 8-1. Relatively new and unknown. Binkovitz has underdog status.
« My body is a dead language, and you pronounce each word perfectly. »
Sierra DeMulder, “The Unrequited Love Poem”
Hometown: Grew up in upstate New York.
Years slamming: 5.
Credentials: Member of the National Poetry Slam championship team from St. Paul in 2009 and 2010; 2009 finalist in World Poetry Slam; coached the winning team from Macalester in 2011; CUPSI 2009 Best Female Poet.
Published work: “Bones Below” (2010) and “New Shoes on a Dead Horse” (2012).
Education: Currently studying English at the University of Minnesota.
Aspirations: Pursuing a career as a poet and poetry teacher.
Strengths: Experienced and innovative.
Weakness: Hasn’t competed in a while, variability of slam.
For her WOW appearance: She’s still putting her strategy together.
Odds of winning: 3-1. She has the experience and past wins to put her at the top of the heap, though she hasn’t competed in a while.