Poetry Slam!

Poetry Slam!

Join us on April 29 as we celebrate National Poetry month, the Red Wolves Write program, and the Latino Americans special events series. The Early College 8th grade students from Hibberd middle school will be presenting their original slam poetry on Friday, April 29 at 8:45 a.m. Campus and community members are welcome! There will be light refreshments and some special edition Red Wolves Write t-shirts available. Most importantly, this is an opportunity to encourage young adults in their creative and personal endeavors.


Slam Poetry was introduced at the Nuyorican Poetry Café in New York City in 1975, and has strong ties with the Latino community. As a form, slam poetry has become increasingly popular with young adults, with statewide and national poetry slam competitions, YouTube series and prestigious awards available for the best poets. The purpose of slam poetry is to express one’s personal feelings and beliefs in poetic form, aloud, in front of others. Many of the elements of traditional poetry, such as rhyme and meter, may be found here, but the performance of these works overtakes their written form. Slam is intended to serve as a living, breathing activity, evolving as the poet evolves.


Since February 2016, IU East Coordinator of Library Instruction and Service Learning KT Lowe has worked with the 8th grade Early College class on authorship and performance. “These works are powerful, trippy, even funny,” Lowe states. “We have poems on female empowerment, aspirations, basketball and potato chips. There’s a poem for everyone, and it will be tremendous fun for the audience to hear these for the first time.” Lowe and Dr. Jackie Schlichte, coordinator for the Early College program, have helped students with their poems through a series of workshops and in-class practices.


The Early College Poetry Slam is one of the culminating events of National Poetry Month, which is held nationally every April. Other activities in support of National Poetry Month include the Advanced Poetry Class Reading, held in the IU East library on Wednesday, April 27th at 11:00 am. The public is invited to attend, and refreshments will be provided. In addition, the Red Wolves Read-Out, which incorporated both poetry and prose and took place live on Tuesday, April 12th, will be re-broadcast on WCTV.


Poetry, far from serving as little more than greeting card text, is an ever-changing, metamorphosing form of literature. For the Early college students, poetry has proven an exciting form of communication, where they express longings, fears, judgments and laughter. As they develop as writers and individuals, their poetry will continue to enthrall. Don’t miss them on Friday, April 29!


For poetry resources available at the IU East Campus Library: iueref@iue.edu

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