Have you ever had your mind melt out of your ears because of something someone said? Literally, I mean it. Just KO’d your brain so hard there is no way to recover from it. Final bout, you are left stammering and fall to the ground type of words. This recently happened to me, and I am, in my own opinion, pretty good with words. So to have someone come along and destroy my brain with lyrical content – blows me away. To say this girl is amazing is an understatement. Every word from her mouth comes with the potential to crumble buildings. She is so intense, you are literally on the edge of your seat until you realize you are falling.
It was another Auntie Mae’s poetry night, in my hometown of Manhattan, KS. Yes we do have culture here. When my friend Michael Mlekodaj told me they would be having a special guest, I figured “cool.” The last time they had a special guest it was Uncomfortable Laughter another one of Michael’s connects – you may remember the article I wrote about them. Michael Mlekodaj knows some pretty rad poets, to say the least. What I didn’t realize was just what we were about to see that night. For 45 min we got our minds professionally broken down and built back up by the one-and-only Sierra DeMulder. I am ashamed to say that as a fellow poet, I had not heard of her. I really should have done my homework before going to Mae’s that night.
Sierra DeMulder grew up in a tiny town in upstate New York. She first encountered slam poetry at 14 when she watched her father compete (a morbidly embarrassing experience for her). After getting her start with the Intangible Collective in 2007, she moved to Minnesota to pursue her interest in poetry and to slowly freeze to death. Sierra earned *Best Female Poet* at the College Union Poetry Slam Invitational in 2009. Less than two months later, she was awarded a coveted publishing deal from Write Bloody Publishing, which lead to her first full-length book, *The Bones Below*, published in January 2010. With Sierra’s help the St. Paul Slam Team won the 2009 National Poetry Slam in West Palm Beach, Florida. Sierra continued on to rank ninth in the world in the Individual World Poetry Slam in Berkeley, California. She was a finalist at the 2010 Women of the World Individual Poetry Slam in Columbus, Ohio. One year later, the Saint Paul Slam Team won the National Poetry Slam, making Sierra one of the only poets to touch every final stage in a calendar year.
Outside of her competitions, Sierra coached the Macalaster College team at the 2010 CUPSI where they placed third in the nation. She also launched her own teaching initiative, in which she conducts weekly poetry classes geared towards aspiring poets of all ages in the Twin Cities community. Sierra has featured in hundreds of venues across the country, performing her poetry and facilitating writing workshops in high schools, colleges, homeless shelters, prisons, churches, farmers’ markets, and people’s basements. When not doing poetry, she enjoys making and imbibing coffee, making full use of public transportation, and waxing on about feminism.
Slam isn’t even a word I would use to describe her poems. Eviscerate, would probably be a better term. She spins tales like few aged authors can, and is still very young. She captures moments with words, churns them until they fall from her lips like battering rams to your head. Pushing through every preconceived notion you ever had about slam poetry. I would copy and paste lines from her poems but it doesn’t do them the justice that she does when she speaks. For she speaks with such heart and conviction that hearing her live, will pull laughs from your gut, tears from your eyes, and sighs from your soul.
Sierra DeMulder is the future of slam poetry. She is a budding role model for the youth that seek their own voice and they will find passion within her lines. I cannot praise this creator more. It was odd to sit next to her and talk and not know just how powerful she was until she came off that stage. I barely managed words of praise as she came back to our table and sat. My lips trembled to speak and I am rarely without words. How haphazardly I spoke of random topics with her like she was just another random friend in town for the week. She probably appreciated that kind of brazen-fool-hearted randomness. Lord knows she probably blushes at such adoration, still I can’t fathom any amount of praise that does her work justice. I can only say after you watch the video below you need to go and find more of her work online. See for yourself, the power she possesses. Know her words as they pierce through your core. See her lay line after line like train tracks taking you on a voyage you will never forget.