Photos courtesy of Mud Howard

Pioneer poets take over national slam

By Ajna Weaver /// Staff Writer

The Lewis & Clark Slam Poetry team spent the last few months working hard on writing, editing, memorizing, and performing individual poems and one group piece. This time and energy culminated at the College Unions Poetry Slam Invitational, also known as CUPSI. Our efforts converged with the passion of 68 other teams from across the nation at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, VA. Our team, consisting of coach Mud Howard (’14) and members Danni Green (’16), Samson Harman (’16), Sonja Nosisa (’18), and Ajna Weaver (’17), scored four slots away from making semifinals.

But we weren’t there for the numbers. Just the act of expressing our stories and hearing other people be vulnerable and real on stage in front of so many others was invaluable. It’s cathartic to witness someone pour out their pain or frustration or trauma, especially when you can personally relate to their experience. We bonded with poets from across the country, and we’re especially grateful to get to know the members of the host team, VCU, who made us feel welcome. As an organization, CUPSI strives to be a conscious, inclusive, accountable space. It was refreshing to feel so open and supported, able to speak freely, be heard, and question anything that doesn’t align with our values. This energy is something we would like to bring back to LC, strengthening our community through mindful dialogue and the art of spoken word. The LC slam team will be performing the pieces they brought to CUPSI on campus soon, stay tuned.

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