Poetry Slam to Send Winners to Colorado

Dominick Bellezza, Contributing Writer

Finalist Matt Coonan Performs *photo by Kei Tanaka
Finalist Matt Coonan Performs
*photo by Kei Tanaka

Poetry, like any art, provides people with an outlet for expression. If you haven’t yet had the chance to check out a poetry slam at Hunt Union this year, you’re missing out. The most recent grand slam was held on Wednesday, November 6. With the prize being a trip to Colorado to compete nationally for a slam title, there was a lot at stake.

There was only room for five members on the team set out to climb the Rockies. However, each of the ten contestants who competed for a spot on the team deserved the utmost credit. Everyone that participated in the slam was critiqued by five judges placed among the crowd. There was a three-minute time slot for each poem, with a ten second grace period. The lowest and highest scores were dropped in each of the two rounds. A cumulative score of the two rounds decided a poet’s fate.

To start things off, the enthusiastic host Rob Tibault started off each round with a different poet. They too deserve a pat on the back.

Everyone should be reminded that each of the contestants share personal experiences and emotions with a crowd of complete strangers. The bravery it takes to go on stage in front of a crowd and disclose things so intimate is truly commendable.

A quote by one of the poets that caught my attention was, “You are always a mystery.” Every person’s life is a mystery waiting to be solved, and each of these contestants gave us a clue to their own personal mystery. They provided us with a momentary window into their lives and the opportunity to feel what they felt. The words they wrote on paper came alive as each of the artists breathed life into every phrase.

The crowd was just as endearing as the poets themselves and encouraged the performers by snapping their fingers. It showed the sense of community and closeness that is inherent in each of the slams.

“Cold is too comfortable.” This quote from one of the poets reminds us that this aspect of interpersonal relationships is all too prevalent nowadays. The opposite is true of the environment at the poetry slams. They encourage warmth and compassion, bringing all the attendees together.

Let’s all tip our hats to those brave enough to take the stage and have the spotlight trained directly on their inner feelings. Justine Bishop, Quinn Kelley, Siggy Buchbinder, Matt Coonan, Chelsea Coreen, Jordan Mayers, Denis “Darkacy” Muganza, Seanna Pratt, Ashley Ten Eyck and Brianna Williams are all incredible artists with unique qualities. Winner Coonan as well as Coreen, Bishop, Buchbinder and Kelley will all make the climb up the Rockies to Boulder, Colorado and compete in a week long tournament.

Slams have ended for the semester, but you can still catch some of the workshops they hold, with the next one on November 19 at 6:30 in the Catskill Room at Hunt Union. If you can, go and show support next semester and snap your fingers for some amazing artists.

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