Lipstick Wars is not your average poetry show

An all-female poetry slam, Lipstick Wars is in its fourth year, and is showing no signs of slowing down


Brittany Bullard, Staff Reporter

Fed up with poetry events dominated by men, in 2015 Rheonna Nicole created Lipstick Wars, an all-female poetry slam. A poetry slam is a competition in which contestants compete against each other in several rounds reciting poetry in order to determine a winner.

First held in the Bomhard Theater in the Kentucky Center for the Arts, Lipstick Wars has grown far beyond its creator’s expectations.

“Coming from a city that drowns itself in food and alcohol-based events, I’m overwhelmed by the amount of support this event has received,” Nicole said.

Nicole said she wanted to create a safe space for women, and those who identify as women, to share their truths and not be shamed for it, as this happened often at male-dominated shows. Lipstick Wars is open to women and girls ages 15 and older, who compete for cash prizes.

Nicole said there was a need for women of color, in particular, to be able to express themselves through the art of poetry, and Lipstick Wars was birthed from that. There is also an event for teens called Lip Gloss diaries.

In the future, Nicole wants to see Lipstick Wars expand into a much larger event.

“I am hoping that eventually, this can grow into a full-length poetry festival and conference. That is my dream,” Nicole said.

Lipstick Wars will be held on Saturday, Nov. 17 at 7 p.m. at Brown Theatre, 317 W. Broadway, in Louisville. Doors open at 6 p.m. The event is free, and there are no tickets required.