Publicly performed poetry was in the air at Rollins. It was an evening of passionate and fiery energy at the spoken word event in the Darden Lounge. The Office of Multicultural Affairs (OMA) sponsored the evening of soulful performances. MyTien Doan ’15, and Dilsia Fernandez ’13 co-hosted the event. Their charm and charisma as hosts added to the enthusiastic energy of the event.
The idea behind the event was to showcase students and local artists who write poetry, stories and music with the intention of performing it on stage rather than keeping it on a page. Because of the nature of the art form and the venue of the space, its intimacy and direct address to the audience, the performances contained connections to current events and issues that were pertinent to the audience.
There were several well-known and respected artists amongst the Spoken Word community including: Curtis, whose signature anti-war poem surfaced the truths of historical and current social injustices and The Rising Phoenix, whose fierce delivery gave her the edge and empowerment to captivate the audience.
A first-timer, Amir M. Sadeh ’14, gave a glowing delivery of his original piece, “Love is Fake,” as it explored a beautifully complicated and contradictory perspective on love.
Holt student Melvin Thompson, a performer who carried a comedic and personal demeanor, infused his sense of humor in his piece quite tastefully and left the audience hungry for more.
As the evening progressed, each performance embraced the theme of “Make Love, Not War,” through musically accompanied performed poetry, rap and hip-hop. The ambiance contrasted this energy with a cool, casual and communal feel.
The takeaway from these thought-provoking, mindful, and unexpectedly humorous performances was that this form of expression serves as a conduit to connect one person to another. The event allowed all to see someone on stage and hear the words that you cannot bring yourself to articulate; to give voice to people who have been conditioned to believe that they are voiceless; to make a connection with a complete stranger and say, “Wow, I’ve been there too.”; to learn something new about oneself; to be affected by someone else’s struggles and want to make a change; to inspire and be inspired dropping words and not bombs.