Every April, people across America mobilize in celebration of National Poetry Month. PacificSlam, a new club dedicated to promoting performance poetry on campus, decided to close the month out with their inaugural poetry slam. This event brought together students and community members to watch and support one another.
The poetry slam was developed by Marc Smith. According to “The Spoken Word Revolution,” Smith designed it as a response to the one-dimensional poetry readings that failed to keep audiences interested. The slam was comprised of three parts: an open mic, a featured poet and a competitive poetry aspect.
The so-called “Better Late than Never Slam” followed the classic set-up, with a feature set by the amazing Amy Everhart, who won the 2009 Individual World Poetry Slam and remains the only woman to ever win the prestigious award.
Everhart wowed audiences with her energetic delivery, frank discussion and beautiful writing. Her set ranged from the hilarious “Gummy Bear” to the heart-wrenching “Accidents.” She also shared some new poems she wrote during 30/30, a nation wide event in which poets commit to writing one poem a day for the entire month of April.
The open mic brought together poets from inside Pacific and the broader community.
The slam itself was a laid-back event that featured six poets from the Pacific community in head-to-head battles, where two poets would read a poem back to back then the audience would vote on the winner.
The club modeled the competitive component after the Portland Poetry Slams model, as the leaders felt that it created a unique sense of energy and tension, at least in comparison to other poetry slams.
The biggest success of the night according to the club president was bringing together a diverse group of voices and seeing the support and excitement of the community. It was also wonderful to have so many first time readers on the stage.
Club leaders felt that this is an excellent beginning for next year and hope that more students will come out and read. Students can get updates by looking for the club on Facebook.
The club is excited to bring more poets to campus and provide more opportunities for students to perform.