Poetry group gets ready to slam out the competition
Published: Tuesday, October 2, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, October 2, 2012 20:10
A poetry group on campus is gearing up for performances and competitions with its new lineup of writers and team members.
Returning from a hiatus of one year, the Cal State Long Beach SLAM Poetry Team is coming back with five new team members who passed the grueling closed tryouts that were held last week.
Christopher Soto, a senior communications major and English minor, is managing the team this year.
According to Soto, the tryouts this year had the strongest showing. A total of 15 people participated in the initial tryouts and more showed up for later tryout dates to join a team with only five spots, Soto said.
Slam poetry is performance poetry where spoken word, flow, rhythm and performance are all critiqued in competitions. Each poem is usually two to three minutes in length and topics include politics, personal reflections or comical slam.
“If academics and hip hop had a baby [it would be slam poetry],” Sotto said.
The team will be introduced at the Battle of the Beats Thursday at 7 p.m. in the University Student Union ballrooms. At Battle of the Beats, lyricists will show their talent and battle other MCs for the grand prize of performing a noontime concert at CSULB.
In addition to competitions, the SLAM poetry team will focus its attentions on publishing as well. Soto said he strongly encourages writers to submit their work for publication, even though slam poets do not usually publish, because it is a performance-based art.
Slam poetry is about expression and raising conscious awareness, Soto said.
“It’s real,” he said. “It’s not for money, fame, or any sort of image.”
The CSULB SLAM poetry team hopes to encourage growth in the Long Beach poetic community. Currently, the city of Long Beach has a youth slam poetry team, but it does not have one for adults.