Campus poets get claps, snaps

By Brittnee Junkersfeld

SE Poetry Slam judges administrative assistant Amber Beayrd and Nhung Nguyen speak with Poetry Club adviser Geoffrey Saari about a contestant’s poem. The annual slam was hosted by the Poetry Club.
Photos by Katelyn Townsend/The Collegian

Barack Williams spoke his way into first place at SE’s annual Poetry Slam April 5.

Sponsored by the Poetry Club, the event welcomed TCC students and nonstudents to share their writing and perform spoken word.

Out of 14 participants, the judging panel narrowed the competition to five contestants who shared their pieces in the first and final rounds.

Each participant was given three minutes. The event also included an intermission round for audience members not a part of the competition to share their works or thoughts.

A crowd favorite, Grace Urbina, spoke about her motivations for writing.

“For me, I don’t know if you picked up on it, but my poem followed a transgender theme,” she said. “I am transgender. [I write] mostly late at night when I can’t sleep and I’m kind of just frustrated and sad.”

Urbina considers the hobby therapeutic.

Contestant Antonio McGee performs his poem “Omerta” at the April 5 Poetry Slam. Five of 14 contestants read.

“That’s what poetry is to me,” she said. “It’s an outlet. My poems seem sad, but generally I am a happy person.”

When she experiences writer’s block, Urbina says she listens to fast, pulsing music and obtains an energy where she then writes everything down.

Ezekial “Easy E” Owino spoke his first poem and sang the last one in the final round, finishing in third place. SE student Jordan Blanco placed second.

Anyone can sign up for the annual slam at no cost.

Club adviser Geoffrey Saari said it gives writers an opportunity to share their work, feel confident and realize they can be successful with their writing.

“Claps and snaps go a long way,” he said.