Rantin’ and Ravin’ at Living/Learning Poetry Slam

Sponsored by the Lawrence Debate Union, we held a poetry slam on Wednesday, Oct. 29th in the Fireplace Lounge. People were a little tentative at first to make noise and read their poems, but they were into it by the end of the night. Many folks had brought a friend and got mad love every time they went onstage.

About forty people showed up. As is typical for a slam, the poems varied widely. The most well-received poem was a poem that Sarah Sapienza read, written by another slam poet, that was all about American cheese. It was hilarious and she did an excellent reading.

All of the poems ranged in their emotional content. I read a fairly sad and personal poem about bipolar disorder and its effects on young children. Joe rapped a few poems about rappers with poor vocabulary and “stylish Canadians”. Most of the poems this evening were serious or angry, but a few

funny or lighthearted ones made their way in. The style or content of poems at a slam varies widely with the venue and the poets. Slam poetry is loud, often angry, and frequently targeted at political or social change. Nonetheless, people still slam about more lighthearted stuff.

For the next slam, I would like to get better prizes, a local poet to “feature,” or read their work throughout the evening, and to get a DJ to lend some music to the event. Add this to the poetry and the coffee, and you have a great night of poetry.