Poetry Slam Event
All I Need Is One Mic
A poetry slam is the opportunity to express the personality behind a voice that others may not have seen or heard. The semi annul Poetry Slam called out all poets to bring their poems out and share them with the rest of Quincy University last Saturday evening on April 18th in the Machugh Theater from 6-8 PM. The Poetry Slam was put on by QU’s on campus clubs Brothers of Unity and Portraits of a Lady. Students from all over were able to perform on stage an original piece, recite a poem, or could even choose to sing a song, whatever it was the stage was theirs. Many came to support their family and friends as well while they performed on stage.
The Poetry Slam was hosted by graduate student Sharika Smiley and BOU member Javente Francis. With the theme being “All I Need Is One Mic” at the event everyone showed up dressed to impress ready to take photos before walking into the theatre which was available from 6-7 PM. Students, faculty, friends and family of others were all invited. They decorated all of the theater with balloons and streamers and set the stage. Performing first was a live band and the show started up from there. There were many performers such as Alonzo Johnson, Jordon Wilson, Allison Malone, and Antony Greenhow cam up to the microphone to share what they had. Johnson and Wilson have been regular performers during the Poetry Slam and encourage others to share their work as well.
“I love writing poetry and expressing myself through words. Poetry shows a different side of me other than being a basketball player that not many get to see but they do when I get on stage. I have no problem performing on stage because at that point it’s not about me but the words that I’m saying and that’s all that the audience is paying attention to”, said Jordan Wilson, senior on the basketball team.
Some people that performed were regulars on the stage but not all were. Towards the end of the event, last minute calls for those how had a poem that they wanted to share or for anyone who wanted to take the mic, had a chance to. Junior and communications major Allison Malone took that chance. She said that watching everyone else perform and seeing the encouragement from the audience encouraged her to up go and show them what she had. Her piece was called Deep and she showed everyone just how deep she was. The room was silent as everyone gave her their full attention and she shared that going up there was not so bad. She conveyed that she was nervous at first but as she continued to go on, she felt more comfortable and when she finished, the audience gave their reaction through claps and cheers, leaving her saying that going up was worth it and she’s thinking about signing up for next semester’s event.
Another new coming to the stage was freshman and football player Antony Greenhow. On stage he sung Best In Me by Marvin Sapp. There to support him were his fellow football players. He said that he had never sung at the school before but with the help of some of his teammates, it motivated him to go up. Just how Malone started off, Greenhow was nervous as well but when he looked out into the audience and saw no judgmental faces or sounds of displeasure, he continued on to sing. Greenhow professed that singing for the first time in front of others was nerve wrecking and did not know how the crowd was going to respond to the freshman football player, but watching the live band from earlier and them asking for last minute sign ups motivated him as well did his teammates. One does not have to be a student to attend the Poetry Slam. DeAngela Clippard, a junior at QU, had her family sitting in the rows cheering her on as she performed her poem.
The poetry slam is not just fun for only the performers but for the audience as well. A woman who works in a dining place on campus called the Hawks’ Hangout brings her children and family to the Poetry Slam almost every semester. The hosts are always fun and keeps the audience going with their jokes and small skits. This year Sharika Smiley and Jevante Francis did a good job by getting the crowd involved by having dance contests and singing to music as a whole room. Former student Hermella Zegaye came back this semester to attend the Poetry Slam.
“I always enjoyed going to the Poetry Slam. The people presenting their poems always surprise me because I didn’t know that they could write like that. Plus it gives me a chance to see my friends again and we always have fun when we go”, said former student Hermella Zegaye
Some faculty has even came out to attend the Poetry Slam as well and gets involved just as well as the students. The Poetry Slam is where people can gather and support each other and show their hobby or talent to others that may not know that they had. One does not even have to memorize their poem, it could be read off a sheet of paper or even a phone. There have been times where the person presenting their poem forgot their words, but they did not stop and run off the stage. The audience told them that it was okay and cheered them on until they remembered. The Poetry Slam is a comfortable environment where one can laugh, cry, and snap their fingers. It is a very fun event for all to enjoy where everyone dresses up, listen to each others work and encourage everyone to be open. There have been times where people were so moved that they cried and that is okay to do here. The Poetry Slam happens every semester. All are welcome to perform their own original pieces, recite one of their choosing, or even sing a song. No individual will be turned down or discouraged to express themselves and what they have wrote.