Poetry Slam gives voices to students


Abigail Bekele

Lesly Vasquez ‘18 performs “Photograph” by Andrea Gibson during the poetry slam in the Community Center on Thursday, Sept. 21, 2017./Photo by Abigail Bekele/The Guilfordian

“I’m simply the tree that went unheard,” said first place winner Phillip Williams as he read his own work titled “Revelations” during the Poetry Slam.

The event was held Thursday, Sept. 21 at 7p.m. in the Community Center Lounge. Previous Poetry Slams have been hosted by the Guilford College Greenleaf Coffee co-op. This time, CAB hosted the Slam with Williams and six other contestants.

The contestants found their way onto a stage while being followed by the sounds of snapping fingers and the frequent bursts of laughter.

Williams described the experience as “exhilarating.” He also acknowledged an influential figure in his life and in his poetry.

“I just wanted to take a moment to thank my mom,” said Williams.

Early college sophomore Sydney Pierce won second place at the Poetry Slam and her mother attended the event.

“I am here to support my daughter,” said Morgan Pierce, Sydney Pierce’s mother.

Pierce read her own work “Vampires Are Real.”

Oshari Baldwin, who won third place, left a lasting impression on the judges and audience after performing an original piece without a title. Lesly Vasquez took to the stage to read a piece of poetry titled, “Photograph” by Andrea Gibson and left an impact with the audience.

“It really hit close to home,” said first-year Mayra Sifuentes, a criminal justice major. “Even though it was not her own writing, she was still able to express the feelings behind it.”

Author Ashlee Haze read from her book, “Land Of The Living.” Her words flowed through the room as she spoke about several topics including racism, self-love, hard breakups and her admiration of Missy Elliot.

“She spits fire,” said attendee Saul Rodriguez. “Her poems spoke the truth.”

The Poetry Slam went on without technical difficulties and became a night that contestants, attendees and hostesses could participate in and enjoy. The night gave people a chance to have a voice and use it, whether to speak about abusive fathers or exes that had missed their chance. The event brought a diverse crowd of around 20 people.

“I was glad to be a part of this event,” said Haze. “I think it went very well.”