It’s Time to Slam Now

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The Loft - Crowd

Slam down with the MSU Slam Poetry team in honor of poetry month!

Something about red roses and violets that are blue: it’s the line you’ve heard a million times. But despite the fact that this well-known rhyme has come to define the way most people think of poetry, it is actually so much more than that. Poetry comes in two forms: written and spoken. It is an opportunity for self-expression through writing and spoken word. Written poetry is a more traditional form compared to spoken poetry that is quickly making its way into pop culture as an authentic and totally original form of entertainment.

The MSU Slam Poetry team is a student organization that strives to empower poets in the campus community, proving that poetry is not something that was only done by a bunch of dead guys. The MSU Slam Poetry team is working to mainstream the way people think of poetry. Many people are often reluctant to get into poetry because there is a misconception that it is always associated with academics. However, MSU Slam Poetry president, Hannah Shulte, explained, “Many people haven’t been exposed to enough poetry to understand that it is a great way to express yourself and build self confidence along with self esteem.”

While poetry has its own difficulties, it is particularly rewarding if you allow yourself to fully embrace it.

“Self doubt is a big challenge in poetry because of the fear that your poem may not be received the way you intended,” said Shulte. “But the true beauty of poetry is that you can talk about something that has been discussed several times and always hear something new because poetry is all about interpretation.”

With the evolution of this literary art coming to life, moving from written to spoken words, poetry competitions have grown, becoming increasingly more relevant to the world of poetry. Poetry Slam is a competition that originated in Chicago due to the large number of poetry clubs there that are focused on competing. The Poetry Slam competition has spread and takes place locally at clubs such as The Avenue and The Loft in Lansing. These competitions are very community-oriented and usually contain anywhere from two to ten participants. Poetry Slam competitions are judged by random audience members, which makes the competitions more fair because the audiences do not know what to expect. The judges are people who volunteer and must take poetic elements such as message, delivery and crowd involvement, into consideration before awarding a score between one and 10. Ultimately, as poets advance through the Poetry Slam competitions, they increase their eligibility to enter the College Union Poetry Slam Invitation (CUPSI), which is the biggest poetry competition and is scheduled to take place at the end of March.

The MSU Slam Poetry team is inclusive of everyone and is always accepting new members. So find your inner poet and join the MSU Slam Poetry team in honor of poetry month! For more information about the MSU Poetry Slam team, check out their Facebook and Twitter pages. In addition, for more detailed information about poetry events taking place around the Lansing area contact the Lansing Poetry Network.


Emily Murray is a senior majoring in professional writing and minoring in public relations. She loves fashion, especially writing about it, and enjoys working with VIM Magazine, CollegeFashionista and keeping up with her own blog, From Me to Hue. Emily is also a member of the MSU Dance Club.


Tags: February 2016, Lansing, MSU Slam Poetry, poetry