SIR hosts poetry slam

Each semester, FMU’s student-led magazine, “Snow Island Review,” (SIR) hosts a poetry slam to praise poetry in the magazine’s past issues, search for possible submissions for upcoming issues and to spread awareness about the journal.

In the most recent slam, participants were able shared some of their favorite poems or one of their own recent creations for a prize.

The event began with an introduction from senior English major and SIR editor-in-chief Christina Xan on SIR and how interested individuals could submit their pieces. SIR accepts written work and artwork, including short stories and plays, poems, essays, drawings, paintings and photographs.

After the brief introduction, the competition began. Five contestants competed for first and second places and for a people’s choice award. Each poet in the competition recited his or her poem onstage, and three judges chose the first and second place winners. While the judges deliberated, Xan passed around ballots that would determine the people’s choice winner.

Senior English major Mitchell Aldaco won both people’s choice and first place with his poem titled “Droplets.” For winning first place, Aldaco’s poem was guaranteed to be published in the upcoming issue of SIR, and he received a $20 gift card to Barnes and Noble. Sophomore theatre arts major Jackie Wilcox won second place with her poem “Haunted Houses” and received a $10 gift card to Barnes and Noble.

“I wasn’t really nervous to present,” Aldaco said. “I love writing, and this slam was really about getting involved and sharing poetry with others.”

Junior English major and SIR editor Trey Brown said that this shared experience with poetry was the real reason SIR hosts these slams regularly.

“These poetry slams are really important to us,” Brown said. “While it is a great way for us to get submissions and find new artists to showcase in the magazine, it’s really all about sharing the love of poetry and literature with one another and feeding off of other artists and their ideas to create something new.”

After the competition round, SIR invited attendees to come onstage and share one or more of their favorite poems. Some participants shared works featured in previous issues of SIR, while others chose to read poems written by a favorite author or even a friend.

At the end of the event, SIR encouraged attendees and participants to help themselves to the snacks and refreshments provided and to stay and mingle in the auditorium.

SIR often partners with other literary-based groups on campus and local businesses to help host poetry slams, but for this event, SIR editors and sponsors chose to go solo.

“There was more participation and attendance tonight than expected,” Brown said. “We honestly were only expecting a handful of people, at best. We were pleasantly surprised with the turnout, though. And judging by the presentations tonight, I think the next few issues will have a lot of talented artists published.”