Spoken Word Poetry Institute premieres on campus March 30-31
Verbal Blend, a spoken-word poetry program coordinated by the Office of Multicultural Affairs within the Division of Student Affairs, will premiere the Spoken Word Poetry Institute on Friday, March 30, and Saturday, March 31. The Spoken Word Poetry Institute is a new initiative at Syracuse University that will examine the dynamic of written and performance poetry in the 21st century.
The events on March 30 include a panel discussion, themed “Lift Every Voice & Sing,” along with mini-readings by acclaimed poets Joshua Bennett, Tara Betts and Lemon Andersen. The panel starts at 7:30 p.m. and will take place in the Hildegarde and J. Myer Schine Student Center, room 304 ABC. The event is free and open to the public. Tickets are not required.
On Saturday, March 31 at 11 a.m., Bennett and Betts will facilitate “Don’t Sweat the Technique,” a daylong workshop for writers and performers. It will be held in the Schine Student Center, room 304 ABC. Students should register for the workshop by emailing Cedric T Bolton at email@example.com.
The institute will conclude with a live performance by Andersen on Saturday, March 31, at 7:30 p.m. in the Hergenhan Auditorium of Newhouse 3. This ticketed event is free and open to the public. Tickets are available at the Schine Box Office.
“The Spoken Word Poetry Institute is an excellent platform for students to deepen their study, appreciation and awareness of social issues through spoken word poetry,” says Cedric Bolton, coordinator of student engagement in the Office of Multicultural Affairs. “The campus and community get to see how scholarship and the arts have no boundaries, and it allows the student performers to stretch their imagination and create a new world through dramatic wordplay.”
Andersen is an original cast member of the Tony Award-winning Russell Simmons’ “Def Poetry Jam” on Broadway and has been seen on HBO’s “Def Poetry Jam” eight times in six seasons. He has traveled the spoken-word and theater scene for the last decade, performing and selling out venues such as the Nuyorican Poets Café, Apollo Theater, Chicago Theater and Hollywood KODAK. He has recently acted in films by Spike Lee, including “Sucker Free City,” “She Hate Me” and “Inside Man,” where Andersen starred opposite Denzel Washington.
Betts is the author of “Arc and Hue” (Aquarius Press, 2009) and a Cave Canem Fellow, who has appeared on HBO’s “Def Poetry Jam.”
Bennett is an award-winning performance poet who has recited his poems at events such as the Sundance Film Festival, NAACP Image Awards and President Obama’s Evening of Poetry and Music at the White House.
Verbal Blend is a spoken word poetry program designed to enhance students’ confidence in writing and performance of original poems. The program is comprised of a six-week workshop series on poetry forms, formats, journal entries and peer reviews.
Participants have showcased their work at public venues such as themed open mic nights, Light Works’ 2009 Night Artist Reading/Reception with Admas Habteslasie, a day workshop with poet Quyarsh Ali Lansana, SU’s annual Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration, TAKE THE MIC POETRY SLAMS and a special reading with author Tracy Sugarman.
The Spoken Word Poetry Institute is sponsored by Verbal Blend with support from the Poet’s Learning Community and Nu Rho Poetic Society.
For more information, contact Cedric Bolton at 443-9676 or firstname.lastname@example.org.