The days of the normal, quiet, café poetry readings are over. FMU’s 2nd Annual Poetry Slam will take place Tuesday, Nov. 27th at 7 p.m. at the Heyward Community Center. The event, sponsored by the Snow Island Review (SIR), FMU’s literary and art journal, is open for anyone to attend.
Dr. Jon Tuttle, Professor of English and adviser for the SIR, explained how poetry slams work.
“A poetry slam is part literature, part performance art,” Tuttle said. “The idea is: Students get up and read their own poems, preferably ones that can be read in under three minutes. There are certain rules that must be abided by—seriously—such as no props, no musical accompaniment, no add-ons that might dilute the experience of the spoken word. The contestants are judged by a panel composed entirely of willing audience members, by which I mean other students and not tedious professors. It’s a competition, and the winners get fantastic prizes.”
Similar to last year’s Poetry Slam, any FMU student is open to compete. The competition will consist of three to four rounds where students will recite their own poems and will be judged after each round. The first, second and third finalists will all receive prizes ranging from coffee mugs to monetary gift cards.
The first Poetry Slam, held last year at a local coffee shop, consisted of about 10 competitors. Deron Wilson won first place, followed by Chris Fleming who won second. Tuttle and Professor of English Dr. Rebecca Flannagan, were a few of the judges; however, this year the judges will not include faculty members. Tuttle said that he is hopeful that having the event on campus will pull an even better turnout.
English-professional writing major and Editor of the SIR, Shanae Giles, commented on this semester’s submissions, as well as her anticipation for the Poetry Slam.
“We’ve had some really great poetry submissions this semester,” Giles said. “I’m excited to see what students will bring to the table. I’m sure it will be a fun and dramatic night.”
Competitors must have at least five poems ready to perform on the night of the Poetry Slam. There are no prohibitions on content or language, except that each poem should be able to be read in less than three minutes. Students who would like to compete in the Poetry Slam are encouraged to contact Giles at firstname.lastname@example.org.