Review: They’re Poets that Know It

Yes! Yes! Yes! Whoever said that poetry is boring had never attended a U-Club Poetry Slam! These students are amazing writers and performers. They had such imagery, detail, and emotion in poems written during hours of pain and happiness.
I arrived incredibly early with some family and friends and played hangman until the show started. We waited anxiously for the first poets to start reading in open mc.

They started the music that signaled the beginning of the show. The host got up on stage and explained the process of open mc and slamming for people who had never come before. It’s all rather simple. When a poet is performing, if you want to show appreciation for a certain statement or description, you snap quietly instead of applauding. After they finish you clap loudly and cheer enthusiastically. The open mc poets get up and perform poems they’ve written without being judged. After a few great performances by these skilled artist, the slam began!

The slam is an exhilarating experience. These poets take the stage and pour their hearts out to five volunteer judges from the audience. Each judge has a white board and gives a rating between 1 and 10, 10 being the best. The judges as this event were a lot meaner than normal slams. I had never seen a score below a 7, but at this slam they were giving scores below a 3. It was very strange and very rude. These poets are pouring their hearts and souls to this audience and these judges, and the low scores tell the poets that they suck. It is so rude and these judges should never be allowed to score again. In fact, they were scolded for it at the end of the show. When the scores are announced the audience can boo or cheer for the score. Our job was to make the judges feel bad about themselves for giving bad scores.

It is quite an experience hearing the poetry performed as opposed to reading it quietly. It is so much easier and so much more vivid to hear the passion in person.

The club advertises well, so you should see their signs everywhere. The next slam is November 19.

Adam Falkner
Adam Falkner
Jon Sands
Jon Sands

These slams are also famous for having great poets from around the country visiting to perform. This slam’s guest was Adam Falkner and Jon Sands. Both were amazing writers and performers with deep emotions and passion. Both were incredible and brought amazing works to the table. And both have Facebook pages with more info and videos of their performances. Feel free and encouraged to friend them. Also, don’t forget to come to the next U-Club Poetry Slam!

Danny Fob

I'm a Junior in LSA majoring in Italian and minoring in Art History. I love writing for art[seen] because it gives me the opportunity to show all of these amazing shows that the University brings to Ann Arbor. We get some world class performers and I would be really bummed if I missed out on anything that I'll never have to opportunity to see again. What you need to know about me? I'm not a writer, an art expert, and I didn't grow up around this much culture. I am a busy student at UofM, so if you are judging me for something, it's okay because I won't have time to respond. I'll just keep seeing shows and you can be jealous!

3 thoughts to “Review: They’re Poets that Know It”

  1. If a poem is dirt, why should it receive anything above a 3? It’s not fun nor productive to have a crew of soft judges make poets feel good about bad poetry, as they often do at slams. The poets are not forced to perform for judges; they choose to be part of a contest that both criticizes and applauds. Therefore, it is not rude but necessary for the judges to award low scores to bad poems however soul-searching or emotional they claim to be.

  2. Hey Danny,
    Poetry is very subjective and while you may have “connected” with the poem, the judges may not have. I don’t know that the judges “should never be allowed to score again,” but perhaps they’ll be a little more understanding next time based on the audience response from this poetry slam.

  3. they choose to be part of a contest that both criticizes and applauds.
    I don’t know that the judges “should never be allowed to score again,”

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