On Oct. 14, submissions for The Master’s College poetry slam closed. A selection committee will review poems for performance on Nov. 6 at the Powell Library.
This will be the first time the poetry slam hasn’t been student led since it’s beginnings about five years ago.
John Stone, the school librarian, partially attributes the general population’s interest in the event to the rising popularity of the theater programs. His excitement, though, began when Barry Moore, the Coordinator of Multicultural Student Advancement, informed him of the similar dorm events. Paired with his thought that “Christian world view is inclusive of all God’s creation, including the written arts,” Stone decided to host the event.
“It’s scary venturing into waters we haven’t before in the library,” says Stone, though he notes “there are more people who write [poetry] than we knew about.”
“We’re definitely excited about it,” says library staff and sophomore, Megan Weidman. “I’ve heard quite a few poems from friends asking for advice… we’ve had a lot of submissions.”
A string quartet will open the night at 7p.m., preceding two 45-minute sessions of poetry reading, interposed by refreshments and bookended with the extended poetry of Professors Jim Owen and Grant Horner.
The library is offering cash prizes, though students who are not jolted by the sight or sound of the word “poetry” don’t seem to be taking the bait.
When asked about the event, sophomore at TMC, Liza Amani, said “[she hadn’t] even heard of it!”
Sierra Elm, another student at TMC, says “[she knows] nothing about it.”
“I know we’ve done poetry slams for years,” she says, “but I’ve never gone. Poetry isn’t really my thing…”
Most students at TMC had similar responses. Some students, however are thankful for this opportunity to hear from their peers.
Former English major, Joanna Flower, says she’s “really excited to hear people share their gifts and tell their stories, and poetry is a really cool way to do it.”
Poetry might not be popular among students, though the number of submissions the library has received shows that it fulfills a valued niche in the community. A senior biblical studies major notes that “it’s important that we have something on campus for people to express themselves. Everyone is different and it’s cool that we have something for every personality.”
By Gabrielle Colon