Fourth Annual Poetry Slam

FAU students go head to head as they share their raw emotions in this poetry competition


Mohammed F Emran | Web Editor

Isabella Goris, Contributing Writer

On the evening of Feb. 19, throughout Live Oak Pavillion, Florida Atlantic students could be heard rehearsing their poems, asking for critiques and talking to friends to ease their nerves as people gathered to see them perform for the Fourth Annual Poetry Slam organized by Student Union Productions.

A poetry slam is a competitive performance of poetry where students come to express themselves and show their talent within a span of three minutes. This year, 12 FAU students competed in front of a crowd of about 50 people consisting of students and friends of the poets.

Those who participated signed up anytime between January to the night of the slam. Poet David Serrano actually signed up an hour before the slam. “This is my first slam actually,” said Serrano. “It was really fucking scary, but also exciting to perform something that is meaningful to you to someone who will receive it.”

Isabella Goris | Contributing Photographer
Isabella Goris | Contributing Photographer

In a “slam” there is an MC — the one who hosts the evening — and the poets themselves. To start the night, a sacrificial poet performs as a sort of ice breaker. They set the bar for the night to illustrate to both poets and audience members what a great poet is like.

The MC for the evening was Mike McCain. He, along with three of the judges, belong to a group called Team A.D.H.D. who travel to perform and share poetry. The other two judges were actually students who were chosen from the crowd to judge.

The night had a slow start, beginning an hour late with the sacrificial poet no where to be seen. McCain’s humor helped settle any unease with his “awkward moment” count. “We’re going to see how many awkward moments I can have tonight,” said McCain jokingly.

Mohammed F Emran | Web Editor
Mohammed F Emran | Web Editor

Soon a random person from the crowd was selected to be the sacrificial poet and the slam then began after. Each person performed, then the five judges would announce the scores. Scoring was based on a 1 to 10 scale with 10 being a perfect score.

In the first round, all 12 poets performed their pieces. Each poet had their own style to perform varying topics — some spoke about love, racial issues, first words or about themselves.

Poet Nathaniel Delevoe was one poet who struck the audience with his humor and serious poetry. When he first walked on stage, notebook in hand, he announced to the audience and judges, “I’m definitely going over the time limit, so might as well take points off now.”

Mohammed F Emran | Web Editor
Mohammed F Emran | Web Editor

After 40 minutes the first round came to a close and there was a short intermission, in which the members of Team A.D.H.D performed some of their pieces. McCain and judges performed their poems and received praise from the crowd. As McCain returned to hosting he stated that there would only be two rounds due to time restraints.

The second round had the top six poets, including Delevoe and Serrano, perform another piece. After they performed once again, the top three poets were then chosen. In third place was Serrano, second was John Edwardsaint and in first was Delevoe.

Edwardsaint, who has been doing poetry for seven years, was elated to win second place and expressed his love for art, saying, “If you ever write something and you don’t share it you’re being selfish because you never know who will benefit from your work.”

The slam ended a little before 11 p.m., but no one seemed to complain. As people left murmurs could be heard of how well the night went.