Poetry slam articulates beauty

Julia Maldonado and Franky Renteria

The BMU’s Common Grounds hosted “Poetry Slam” last Thursday as a part of the ‘Black ARTS Movement’ where individuals performed their poems about politics, family and more.

Performers signed up the day of the event. The top two winners won a gift card to the Wildcat Book Store and a chance to perform at the Naked Lounge.

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In the first round, First, eight poets performed their own work that reflected their interests, presented in 3 minutes or less. The audience voted for their favorites by placing a “ticket” in the contestant’s corresponding cup. The top five moved on to the championship.

“I got into poetry because I grew up in the foster system and it was a way for me to escape my realities and everything that was going on,” said April Hernandez Elizondo, one of the performers.

Poems ranged from topics such as why one shouldn’t be proud to be American to self-confidence. Each performer brought something different to the table and the audience loved every moment.

The top five poets were: Dominique Parkin, Gary Allen, Gian Sosa, Alejandro Alfaro and duo Reisden Myvett and Eyan Belson.

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Alejandro Alfaro (Winner) reciting one of his poems.

 

In the championship round, they brought their “A” game. Each contestant had 4 minutes to present their poetry and the audience would vote again for their favorite.

Parkin delivered a message to her younger brother. Allen discussed feelings before the election. Sosa painted a picture with words about the beauty of living on an island. Alfaro preached the hard truth about being a person of color. Myvett and Belson sang their song about a girl.

“I feel like the stage is where I belong,” Sosa said. “I zone and tune out from the world, and I feel like I mattered.”

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Winner (Alejandro Alfaro) and runner up (Gian Sosa) of the poetry slam.

 

Each performance packed a powerful punch, but one performer stood out among the rest. Alfaro’s poems about what it means to be “American” to a person of color and letter to “people who only see white” received numerous snaps and praise throughout his performance.

“When I go up there, I notice the whole room watching. I feel like I can say what I want,” Alfaro said.

Alfaro won first place and was named “Best of Slam” and Sosa second. Both contestants performed an encore as per request of the audience.

Sosa and Alfaro’s Naked Lounge performance date is to be determined.

Julia Maldonado can be reached at [email protected] or @theorion_arts on Twitter.