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Black Student Union holds auditions for upcoming poetry slam

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Photo courtesy of Grant | Flickr
Photo courtesy of Grant | Flickr

Auditions for this semester’s poetry slam, put on by The Black Student Union, were held Feb. 9 to select 12 poets to compete in the upcoming event.

The auditions were held in order to decide which poets are going to get the chance to compete with one another for first, second and third prize. The winner of this year’s poetry slam completion gets a $30 Visa gift card, and according to The Black Student Union, it’s going to be a tough competition.

The overall goal of holding the poetry slam auditions was to get an idea of how many poets will be performing and how the competition will run.

The judges also made sure all the pieces the poets will be performing were appropriate. According to Katy Barnes, who was in charge of finding a place to audition as well as keeping the pieces appropriate, in past years poems have gotten a little graphic.

Barnes said this year they wanted to have a more formal approach to the auditions and the competition.

“We are allowing students to perform original work that speaks to them. However, we do not want a piece to be too graphic or demeaning to any races or genders or target anyone in particular since we attract a diverse audience,” she said.

Poems that were presented at the auditions were mainly free verse with personal themes. These poems were about various topics from the importance of history to daily life in the perspective of the writer.

The maximum number of people that were allowed to audition this year was 20.

From those 20 people, they must choose 12 to fill the slots. If more people are interested in performing however, the club said it can make room, as a lot of poems tend to be relatively short. The Black Student Union encouraged all Colorado State University-Pueblo students as well as non-students, and even staff to try out.

Poetry slam flyers are posted around campus, and that is the main way they are getting the word out. The Black Student Union has reached out to the English department and other organizations to spread the word as well. Barnes said they are expecting a large audience.

The Black Student Union is advertising “A night filled with jazz, refreshments, and a calm environment.”  For anyone interested in poetry, or would like to attend a first poetry slam, the event is taking place on Feb. 17 at 7 p.m. in the Occhiato University Center Ballroom.