Celebrating the art of poetry: University poetry slam

Published: April 7, 2016

CATHERINE MOSCATT
Staff Writer

The atmosphere at Adezzo café was light Saturday. Students from The University gathered around the tables talking excitedly.

There were nervous smiles and supportive hugs. Members of The University of had gathered together to celebrate the art of poetry.

On Saturday Celebrate the Arts (a residential learning community for students at The University) hosted a poetry slam competition at Adezzo Café.

Students competed by performing poetry, either original work or poetry written by another author.

At the end of the evening, the café audience votes for the winners.

The first and second place winners received gift cards to the stores of their choice, but even for those who did not win, it was an excellent opportunity to share their love of poetry and their own original work.

Skyler Roote is no stranger to poetry slam competitions; she competed in several in high school. This time she won first place with an original poem titled “Brain Dissection.”

“It is about my sister who has been bullied for years on end and also suffers from depression, so it’s my way of letting her know that it’s not her fault that she has depression” Skyler says. “She shouldn’t blame herself; it’s more of a chemical issue in her brain that she can’t help and I want her to know that she is beautiful and special just the way she is,” Roote adds. “The best part was when I stepped up to perform and everyone fell silent. I thought there would be chatter but everyone was just ready to hear my poem, and I thought that was awesome.”

For second place winner Emily Bluhm, this was her first time performing in a competition.

“I thought it would be a fun thing to do- have different experiences in college, try different things,” she said.

Bluhm also read an original poem (“Chris”). She says the best part of the evening was “watching all my friends perform and having everyone support everyone.”

Celebrate the Arts organized the poetry slam in response to great demand from its members.

“Honestly, I don’t often get the chance to perform my poetry so when I saw the opportunity I was extremely excited,” Roote said. “I think poetry as an art form is very unique. It’s definitely not the first thing that you think of when you hear art, usually its things like painting and drawing but it’s an excellent opportunity to express yourself through symbolic language. You don’t literally have to tell people what you are talking about and they can interpret it however they would like.”

“I think it’s a very good way for someone to express themself and they can be as general and vague or as specific as they want to be. There are a lot of different forms of poetry and poetry really has no rules so just do whatever you want,” Bluhm agrees.

Hopefully other aspiring poets will be encouraged to share their poetry, which truly is a form of art.

Contact the writer: catherine.moscatt@scranton.edu

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