10th Annual poetry slam

Tatanisha Wooley


The Department of Languages and Literature sponsored the 2014 Poetry Slam in the Coal Ben on Thursday, April 3rd from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. This is the tenth year the event took place.

“Words are power,” stated Kelly Reuter, a junior, who wowed the audience by her words. She finished the contest in first place.

“I felt like [Reuter’s] voice matched with the poem and it was touching. I had goose bumps,” said senior Sarah Safar.

“I had been writing poetry since my freshman year in high school,” said Reuter. She preferred poems that had meaning and were emotionally driven.

The Slam has two parts, the first part is the open mic, and the second is the slam. The open mic, which started at 7:00 p.m. was where anyone could read poetry. All of the poetry read had to be an original piece, and anyone who wanted to participate was to bring two original poetries.

Those who wanted to participate in the event did not have to be a Benedictine student, as the event was open to anyone who wanted to share their work. The Poetry Slam takes place every year because it gives people a chance to showcase poetry that is special to them and present poetry that they have written.

Wilson Chen, the Associate professor of Languages and Literature, started the popular event in 2005. Chen was presented with an award for his hard work by Dr. Amir, who is the assistant professor of Language and Literature.

This year, close to 100 people packed the Coal Ben. The Poetry Slam contest was judged out of a score of 10. It consisted of two rounds, and the judges based their score off of execution, creativity and quality. There were first, second, and third place winners. Each winner was presented with a trophy. This year, seniors Natalie Wilson and Margaret Kline judged the event. The poems that were successful each round were those that the audience found funny or emotional.

The Slam offered a chance for people who may not be heard on campus to let their voices be heard. Desmond Washington, freshmen, had poems that were particularly engaging and funny. His first poem for the Slam titled, “On the Sideline,” was about the negatives about being friend-zoned by someone you like. Washington managed to put a comic twist to the subject.

“My feelings, because whatever motivates me is what I am feeling at the moment,” said Washington about where he draws inspiration to write his poems. “It comes from society and my studies as well.”

He placed second in the contest and was one of the few contestants to receive tens on both of his poems.