Love Jones: A Poetry Slam
The Student Activities Council (SAC) held a Poetry Slam in the University Center, featuring Brittaney Black Rose Kapri on Tuesday, April 16.
Event organizer Jada Goodman said they tried to put the event together but it didn’t work out. “This year, we decided to have an open mic night/poetry slam where students can express themselves with an artist to follow up.” The event was open to the public and and free for students.
Rose is a Chicago-based author, educator, writer, performance poet and playwright. Her writings have been published in Winona and Winthrop, Poetry Magazine, Seven Scribes and Kinfolks Quarterly.
“Around the second grade, I just stopped talking,” Kapri said. “The school put me in a special needs class because they didn’t know what to do with me,” Kapri said. While in the special needs class, they never asked me to speak. Writing gave me a voice to start speaking. By 14, I was slamming poetry.”
While reciting her poetry, she often elicits strong reactions, with her work taking on adult themes. Oftentimes, some students walk out of her events, Kapri said.
“I don’t think about them. I’m a very specific person, an acquired taste. Some people can’t process it. I’m OK with not being everyone’s cup of tea,” Kapri said. “I just hope they aren’t turned off from all poetry.”
Approximately 30 students attended the event, but only two Southeast students recited poetry they had written. The poems written by the two students touched on topics such as growing up black in a white family, sexuality, growing up in the inner city and socioeconomic status.
“I’ve always liked poetry and I’m a songwriter as well, so I prepared a couple of poems for tonight because this is potentially what I want to do post graduation,” Grayson Belling, graduate assistant for the Office of Institutional Equity and Diversity said.
Another student with a musical background performed as well.
“I want to be a hip-hop artist,” Southeast student, Atum Miles said. Poetry is conscious, and I love that I’m able to express myself. I’ve been doing poetry since the fifth grade and it allows me to express how I feel by using my voice.”
Students from a variety of racial/ethnic backgrounds attended this event.
“I’m a huge fan of SAC events, and I’m taking a creative writing class and we have to go out to various events and watch poetry,” Southeast student Meghan Becker said.
Maya Birton appreciated the work from the featured guest.
“I’m a SAC member, but I’m really interested in poetry and I’ve researched Brittaney Black Rose Kapri and her work is great,” Birton said.