By KYLEE BAGLEY
Listen up ladies and gentlemen; it is the time of year again when getting slammed at Cumberland County College is acceptable! Our annual poetry slam, #GetSlammed, is happening on May 4 at 7pm in the Luciano Theatre inside the Guaracini Fine & Performing Arts Center. The event is free, but donations are accepted. According to CCC’s website, cccnj.edu, all donations will benefit the Media Communications Scholarship Fund and allow students to have the opportunity to further their education in the communications field.
If you think that the slam is made strictly for people who are poetically inclined than you’re wrong. The slam is for anyone who revels in expressing thoughts, discussing major life themes, and listening to others do the same. Poetry slams take note from hip-hop culture wherein the poems are performed similarly to the way a musical artist would rap sans music. It is an expansive way to experience poetry; poetry slams broaden the spectrum to invite a whole new group of people into its midst.
#GetSlammed has been taking place during the spring semester for the past three years. The event was co-founded by Daniel Carter, CCC graduate, and Renee Post, professor and advisor, whose goal was to create a safe place for students to have a positive outlet. Three years ago, Carter took Post’s Effective Speech class where he performed a poem of his own. After hearing his poem, Post approached him with praise for the artistic medium. With Carter’s idea and Post’s ability to make it happen, Get Slammed was born. Now that’s poetry in motion.
Though he graduated CCC this past spring, Carter has no intentions of relinquishing the slam from his life. He will not only be in attendance, but also performing in this year’s slam. When asked what poetry does for him, Carter shared that he always loved stories. He stated, “Slam poetry opens an outlet to share stories in a creative art form.” He believes slam poetry propels typical written poetry into a different game. Carter went on to say, “Slam poetry makes poetry more accessible over written word. Drawing inspiration from hip-hop, it deters but also builds a bridge connecting both the older and newer generations of poets.” When asked how long he plans to stay involved with #GetSlammed, Carter smiles, “I will be performing in the poetry slam as long as they keep inviting me back.”
If anyone is interested in performing in the poetry slam, have no fear. Anyone can perform and there’s no audition. It is an open-mic event with no judges and unlike a majority of well-known poetry slams, it is not a contest. Professor Post finds this type of environment beneficial to the students. When asked how she thought the poetry slam aids the students, Post said, “I think it showcases the artists’ talents in writing and performing. Most of the work is original content so it’s exciting to provide a place where these artists can express their emotions.”
Post produces the poetry slam as the Media Club advisor. In describing how she is involved in running the event she shared, “The Media Club sponsors the event and my interns help me produce it. This year, my interns are Josh Carll and Georgia Salvaryn. I provide guidance for the event. My public relations and special events classes also help promote and implement the show as part of their hands-on learning.” Though Post handles the publicity and final decision-making, it is a team effort of how she, along with the poets, wants to showcase the event and make it new and groundbreaking each year. If you are interested in performing or volunteering, contact Professor Post at firstname.lastname@example.org.