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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Students attend poetry slam sponsored by The Watermark


Performer Tucker Gaye.

Are you tired of your boring reading assignments and book clubs that have you reading “Twilight”? Maybe this is your third time being assigned “Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,” or you are just going to explode if Stephanie Meyer refers to Edward as a Greek God one more time. If you are looking for some more enlightened reading, with some people who really know their way around adjectives and metaphors, the Poetry Slam Society is the place for you.

On Oct. 7 the Slam Society held an event, co-hosted by the University of Massachusetts Boston’s very own literary publication, The Watermark. The Watermark is working together with the Slam Society to bring in writing submissions for the spring issue. The open mic was for anyone who wanted to give it a shot; there were even a few people who had never read their poetry out loud. One presenter even used this avenue to vent, “This isn’t even a poem, I just need to get this off my chest.” It ended up being a confession about a crush she has on a boy, and it was better than any Nicholas Sparks movie.

For more seasoned veterans of poetry, there is the slam poetry hour that is more competitive. Participants read their best poems and recieve a score. This time around the winner received a $50 Sodexo gift card, to make the risk of getting up there worth it, courtesy of The Watermark. If the gift card isn’t enough of a motivator to take a chance in the slam, the MC, Allister Quilon, found ways to persuade audience members into becoming contestants either through playing some Motown, or with his disarming humor. The only way to get better is to practice, as anyone that is a master of their trade will say. Each month the Slam Society holds a monthly performance workshop to help gain experience. The Slam Society also practices their skills as writers and speakers at places like the Lizard Lounge Sundays at 7 p.m. or The Cantab Lounge Wednesdays at 8 p.m. The winner of the slam poetry hour was Ari, a freshman at UMass Boston, proving there’s plenty of room for newcomers too.    

At this particular event there was a feature speaker, Krysten Hill. Hill performed poems of her own, as well as one of her favorites by Audre Lorde. Many of these poetry readings involved some people reading the poetry of others, either by famous poets or other students who wish to remain anonymous. Hill teaches Critical Reading and Writing, using poetry to teach how to write with style, and has her MFA in poetry. For some, poetry is a way to blow off steam, and for others it is a lifestyle. Hill started writing poetry at age eight. It developed into a career, because she knew then that she couldn’t live without it. Hill writes about reality, “about the hardness of life.”

“Let’s celebrate that we have voices.”