Poetry Slam artfully wraps up MLK Week activities
Students and special guests both performed on Recital Hall stage
The Saint Michael’s College Martin Luther King Jr. Society wrapped up a week of events held in celebration of Dr. King’s life and legacy with a poetry slam the evening of Friday, January 24 in the McCarthy Arts Center. Guest performers came to campus to share their work with the student body, and students recited their own original works as well.
Guest performers included Mic-Andre Constable and Reuben Jackson. Mic-Andre is a spoken word poet and rap artist based out of Jamaica, Queens, New York. Friday night’s poetry slam was the fourth time Mic-Andre has come to St. Mike’s to perform for the community. Winning first place among the student poets who performed was Fabiola Mujomba. Julyanice Cruz was second place, and Daneroy Lawrence earned third place.
Reuben Jackson is a poet, jazz scholar and mentor to young writers. He has worked with the Young Writers Project, taught poetry for 11years at the Writer’s Center in Bethesda, Maryland, and has taught at the high school level for two years in Burlington, VT. He is also a founding member of the New Music Theater Workshop, working for the organization as a librettist. His poems have been published in more than 40 anthologies, and his first volume, fingering the keys, won the Columbia Book Award, according to information on his publisher’s website.
Additionally, student performers shared emotional, personal stories with their fellow Knights through their original works. Katie Chamberlain took the stage first, sharing her piece “You are Enough,” which she called “a letter to her younger self.” Dyanna Martin recited her piece titled “Strength.” Rada Ruggles performed her poem “No, I Can’t,” which surrounded the topic of gun violence in America.
Julyanice Cruz then delivered an emotional performance of her untitled piece, which won second place among the student performers. Kayla Erb, the host of the event, performed her own piece as well, which she dedicated to her partner. Rachel Southworth then shared her piece “10 Things You Should Know About Autism,” telling the audience a little bit about her experience as an autistic person.
Daneroy Lawrence shared a poem about his dreams and how they changed when he lost his legs, and the poem also touched on his religious faith. Lawrence won third place in the competition.
Brendan Looney shared a poem about heartbreak. Madeline Shanley shared her piece titled “New Life.” Finally, Fabiola Mujomba shared her powerful piece titled “Conversations Inside the Mind,” and won first place among the student performers.
The Poetry slam was a powerful, unifying event in which members of the student body were able to come together to listen and appreciate the life experiences of their peers, experiencing the strong sense of community for which Saint Michael’s College is known.