The Center for Student Involvement will host its 18th Annual Poetry Slam at 7 p.m. on Thursday, March 18. The event will provide a platform for students to share their diverse experiences through poetry and to create connections with the community.
The Poetry Slam has been one of CSI’s most popular on-campus activities since it began in 2003. Usually, students pack the seats of the Old Main’s small theater to watch their fellow Buffs perform original slam poems; however, due to COVID-19 restrictions, this year’s event will be held virtually, opening the door to an even larger audience.
“It’s an opportunity (for competitors) to get their poetry out there,” said Christina Chambers, CSI’s coordinator for cultural programs. “For those that attend, it’s an opportunity to see their peers in a different way.”
Competing students will prepare at least three original poems for the competition’s three rounds. Each performance will be scored by a panel of judges, composed of students and staff, and three prize winners will be crowned at the end of the competition.
“The event also lends itself to supporting some of our students who identify within marginalized communities,” Chambers continued. “A lot of the students who choose to participate are within those communities, and they want to share their experiences through poetry.”
Giving members of marginalized communities the opportunity to share their experiences in a safe, welcoming space is extremely important. It can be empowering and validating for them to be heard. By listening to and trying to understand these diverse perspectives, attendees can also learn to be more accommodating and empathetic toward others.
“I think it allows a space for students to feel comfortable in a smaller setting,” said Maggie Shelton, CSI’s coordinator for student involvement. “It isn’t a massive event, but it’s enough to where students feel comfortable with a community that’s similar-minded to their own.”
If you’re interested in attending or participating in CU Boulder’s 18th Annual Poetry Slam, check out the Center for Student Involvement’s website for more information about signing-up and auditions.
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Marion Walmer at firstname.lastname@example.org.