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New York University Wins Top Honor at CUPSI 2018 Finals

The 18th annual ACUI College Unions Poetry Slam Invitational (CUPSI), April 4–7 at Temple University, hosted 66 teams that represent colleges and universities from across and beyond the United States competing for top honors in collegiate performance poetry. Additionally, more than 400 delegates had the opportunity to participate in workshops, open mics, special slam events, and more.


The final standings for the top four teams of 18th annual College Unions Poetry Slam Invitational are:


  • New York University (116.5)

  • Stanford University (114.2)

  • Virginia Commonwealth University (114.1)

  • Wellesley College (57.4)


The finals were held on Saturday, April 7 in the Temple Performing Arts Center with performances from poet, author, and founder of Greenlight Poetry Salon, Angel Nafisand host for the evening, Philadelphia native, Temple and CUPSI Alumni, Kai Davis.


Nafis is a Cave Canem Fellow. Her work has appeared in The BreakBeat Poets Anthology, Buzzfeed Reader, The Rumpus, Poetry Magazine, and more. She represented the NYC at the National Poetry Slam and the Women of the World Poetry Slam. An Urban Word NYC Mentor and founder, curator, and host of the Greenlight Poetry Salon, she is the author of BlackGirl Mansion. Recipient of the 2016 Ruth Lily Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Fellowship and the 2017 NEA Creative Writing Fellowship, she is an MFA candidate in poetry at Warren Wilson College. With poet Morgan Parker, she is The Other Black Girl Collective.

During the Finals & Awards event on Saturday, April 7, the following coach’s awards were also presented to teams and poets for their contributions to the 2018 event.


  • Spirit of the Slam – Northeastern University

  • Best Writing By a Team – University of California-Berkeley

  • Best Performing by a Team – Agnes Scott College

  • Pushing the Art Forward - Ryerson University

  • Best Poet – Cassandra Meyers, Ryerson University; Golden, New York University; KofieDadzie, University of Massachusetts–Boston

  • Best Persona Piece – "Cannibal," by B Oke, Brown University

  • Best Poem – "Boy with Wings" by Myles Taylor, Emerson College; "Meek Free" by Temple University

  • The Gut-Buster Funny Poem – "#RamadanSzn" by Pennsylvania State University

  • Torchbearer Award – Julian Randall and Miriam L. Harris

  • Best Love Poem – "Genesis," by Temple University


The College Unions Poetry Slam Invitational is the largest and only licensed collegiate poetry slam tournament in the United States.

Scores, the full schedule, and more detailed award information may be found at www.acui.org/poetryslam
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